Uber has announced that it plans to expand to Tanzania, Uganda and Ghana this year.
According to media reports, the strategy will involve convincing traditional taxi drivers to work for the company, showing them they can continue working on their own.
We feel we are at a point now where we have a strong sense for what it takes to build a successful Uber business in Africa.
However, when they don’t have a fare, they can also choose to use the Uber smartphone app to pick up passengers and make extra money.
Alon Lits, Uber’s general manager for sub- Saharan Africa, says the company plans to do a better job engaging with taxi drivers as it launches in new markets.
“We feel we are at a point now where we have a strong sense for what it takes to build a successful Uber business in Africa,” he added.
Despite its expansion plans, Uber continues to face opposition from traditional taxi drivers who see Uber as a threat to their livelihoods.
From Nairobi to Capetown and even Cairo, the online taxi hailing company has been viewed as having unfair advantage over traditional taxis and Uber drivers have faced vigilante violence from taxi drivers.
Another challenge is traffic-clogged roads, high rates of urban crime and a lack of credit cards in most of the cities that the company operates.
However, Lits remained optimistic and said that Uber plans to establish hubs in Nairobi and Lagos to act as launchpads for forays into Tanzania, Uganda and Ghana.
Currently, the online taxi hailing company operates in nine cities on the continent since it entered South Africa in 2012.