Uber Technologies Inc. is getting ready to launch in three more African cities, less than three years after its taxi-hailing service started operating in the continent. Ahead of its expansion to Accra, Ghana; Dar es Salaam, Tanzania; and Kampala in Uganda, the American company is hiring people to work in operations and logistics, the major offices it needs in new markets.
Alon Lits, the general manager of Uber Africa, in an interview in March said the company is gaining users in Africa as travelers and commuters seek alternatives to often unreliable or non-existent public transport. It had in the same month launched in Abuja, Nigeria and Mombasa in Kenya.
According to a report by Post & Parcel, an Uber representative told delegates at the recently concluded World Economic Forum on Africa in Rwanda that it will launch in Uganda first, and probably follow that with Ghana and Tanzania. The company is believed to be considering to launch in the new markets in June.
As the ride-hailing service expands in Africa, it is increasingly engaging with local authorities to ensure improved compliance with laws in the markets where it operates.
In South Africa where Uber drivers have been attacked by traditional taxi drivers on several occasions, the Metered Taxi Council of South Africa has often insisted that Uber drivers get the necessary licences and comply with the rules and regulations guiding public transport like other drivers. Now, the Gauteng Department of Roads and Transport has decided to license Uber driver partners as public transport operators.
“The aim is to ensure the continuation of a public transport service for the people of Gauteng, who have come to rely on Uber as a mode of transport,” Gauteng Roads and Transport MEC Ismail Vadi said on Monday.
Violence against Uber drivers in Kenya also seemed to have been brought under control by security forces in the country. Now, over 1,000 drivers have signed up and more than 100,000 people make use of Uber services in Nairobi every month, according to the company.