Stiff regulation drives Uber out of Morocco

After three years of operation, Morocco’s nonsupporting transport regulatory laws has forced Uber to suspend activities in the North African country.

In Morocco, only conventional taxi’s and car hire services, Petit Taxi and Grand taxi which are registered transport associations under Moroccan law, are allowed to operate while unregistered applications like Uber are not permitted in the country.

Uber said in an official statement: “we have done everything to work with the authorities and public authorities in Morocco to find a solution that would suit everyone. Unfortunately, since our launch in Morocco almost 3 years ago, we have not had any clarity about integrating applications like Uber into the existing transport model”.

According to Uber, Morocco has 300 drivers and about 19,000 regular transport uers using the app, However, the current regulatory uncertainty in the Northern African country prevents the app from providing reliable experiences that meets customer’s requirements, drivers and passengers inclusive.

Uber clearly states that it will be willing to return to Morocco, “as soon as new rules are in place” that enables the app deploy its potential and ensures Moroccans have access to a secure, accessible and efficient service to move and earn their life.

Since inception, the ride-hailing application has faced various challenges in different countries where it operates. In March, the U.N. women’s agency backed out of a partnership with Uber that had pledged to create jobs for 1 million female drivers by 2020 after a protest by trade unions and civil society groups.

Ubers temporary exit in Morocco, comes after its halt in Norway and Finland following a change of regulation, and barely a month after SoftBank, Uber’s largest shareholder, suggested a lack of interest and faith in Uber’s Africa business and noted that the company will be better served by focusing on its core markets like the US, Europe, Latin America, and Australia.

Over the next few weeks, Uber promises to support drivers who use their app.

“We are committed to supporting hundreds of drivers who have benefited from the economic opportunities of using the Uber app. We will be working closely with them through this difficult situation.”