Global ride hailing app, Uber, has officially launched in Ivory Coast’s capital city Abidjan. This is part of its bid to expand deeper into African markets with low levels of car ownership and limited mass transport, especially the Western region of Africa where it has a subtle presence.
It has been evident that although the app operates in 16 cities in sub-Saharan Africa, this is mostly in Southern and eastern Africa, as its presence in West Africa has so far been limited to Nigeria and Ghana.
In Abidjan where Uber has just launched, the population is estimated to be nearly 5 million people and the company says “more than 50,000 people had tried to use its app there in the past year”, which deems the launch into the city a “perfect fit”. The establishment in Abidjan comes after 12 months of negotiations with authorities and regulators in the country.
The company affirms that its investment in African cities is based on a culture of collaboration with national and local authorities that allows it to create solutions tailored for the local population.
In East Africa, a user has the ability to hail a motorcycle taxi through UberBoda, as well as UberPoa for the tuk-tuk (auto rickshaw) market. The firm has also introduced cash payments in African markets to attract customers without cards.
Uber recently launched its uberBOAT service in Lagos, Nigeria. The boat service is going to be operated in conjunction with the Lagos State Waterways Authority (LASWA).
Reuters reports that the company is also in talks with regulators in Senegal about launching services in the capital Dakar.