By Adeyemi Adepetun
GLOBAL technology company Uber has facilitated one billion trips in Africa since entering the market less than 10 years ago.
Over 10 billion kilometres of trips have been completed, and this is equivalent to travelling to the moon and back over 5500 times. During the same period Uber and Uber Eats have collectively reached over 30 million riders and eaters in Sub-Saharan Africa.
As a company that drives digital entrepreneurship, Uber has helped move enough people to fill Soccer City in South Africa 5 000 times – with each trip fueling economic empowerment for the independent drivers who use the Uber app. The app doesn’t just support entrepreneurs and mobility, but also makes mobility more affordable for the people on the African continent.
Head of Communications for East and West Africa, Lorraine Onduru, said:“Since entering the market in 2013, we have created over six million economic opportunities in over 50 cities across SSA that we are present in. We pride ourselves in building locally using global expertise. Each country’s needs are unique so we take the time to understand each of the market needs so we can be responsive and adapt accordingly.”
In the past year, Uber has expanded to over 21 cities in South Africa, two cities in Ghana (Cape Coast and Takoradi) and four cities/areas for delivery in Kenya (Nakuru, Ongata Rongai, Syokimau and Kitengela), with plans to launch in more regional towns and cities this year. This month, Uber in Nigeria expanded to four new cities including Uyo, Warri, Enugu and Kano and in June, Uber will officially mark six years in Ghana, another testament to the role Uber plays as a partner to the cities it operates in.
Launched six years ago in South Africa, Uber Eats has expanded the number of restaurants from 1000 since launch, to over 8000 merchants across 36 cities in South Africa and Kenya.
“We’ve expanded our offerings in markets where we currently operate, innovating with new business models to serve changing needs. The focus for Uber in Africa as it embarks on the next one billion trips is to continue unlocking opportunities through movement and changing how people, food, and things move through cities.
“While each country offers its own unique opportunities, we have found the region to be defined by agility, creativity and adaptability. This provides Uber with the perfect conditions to launch and nurture our on-demand economy in collaboration with the local partners to adapt a global business model into an African environment with diverse political, business and socio-economic dynamics,” added Onduru.
While creating economic opportunities for independent drivers and mobility solutions for riders is vital for Africa’s economic development, it is the enhanced safety of the service offered that is of the greatest importance.
“We are certainly excited about the future, especially because next year, we will be celebrating our 10th year anniversary in SSA. We continue to remain committed to raising the bar on safety, helping drivers and delivery people grow their businesses, as well improving the experience of riders,” Onduru stressed.