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Uber: Four Years of Changing Perspectives, Driving Economic Transformation in Africa

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Alon Lits, general manager for Uber Sub Saharan Africa

By Alon Lits

 

When Uber was first established in 2009 its mission was to help people everywhere get a ride, safely, quickly and at the push of a button.

 

Eight years later, that mission remains the same and Uber’s innovative, technology-driven business model is still fundamentally changing the way people think about meeting their transport needs.

For the past four years, Uber has been delivering this same level of transformation across sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) and with more than 1.8 million active riders using the app, Uber certainly has reason to celebrate its fourth anniversary on the continent this September.

 

And it’s not just Uber that has benefited from the stellar uptake of its convenient offering in Africa.

The SSA countries in which Uber now has a presence, and the citizens of those countries, are also reaping significant socio-economic rewards thanks to the transformation that the Uber approach has helped to drive.

At an economic level, these benefits take many forms. In many cities, the reliability, immediacy, and convenience that Uber offers to city residents and visitors is having the positive impact of helping to reduce congestion.

 

In most urban parts of sub-Saharan Africa, single occupant vehicles remain the biggest contributors to gridlock. But increasing numbers of city residents are recognising that Uber offers a cost effective way of sharing their daily commute with others, thereby reducing the total number of vehicles on the roads, while at the same time cutting down on the costly wear and tear that regular stop-start driving causes.

 

Repeat Uber usage in South Africa is a prime example of these shifting private transport perceptions. This month, almost 25 000 riders each used Uber more than 10 times a week, which points to the increasing adoption of this tech-driven solution, not just as a leisure transport option, but also for work and business purposes. This demonstrates that Uber is a true alternative to private car ownership.

 

Another significant benefit that Uber is delivering in sub-Saharan Africa is enabling and empowering economic opportunities and offering more choice. The steadily growing number of Uber driver-partners in countries across the region is testament to the appeal of the Uber business model.

 

That’s because it creates real opportunities for local entrepreneurs to create and enjoy the flexibility and enhanced earnings potential – for themselves and, ultimately, for individuals that many of them bring into their thriving and growing transport businesses.

 

And growing demand for trips across the sub-Saharan Africa region leads to a steadily growing need for drivers.

Currently more than 29 000 such driver-partners are taking advantage of the earnings generating opportunities delivered by the Uber app. Importantly, the Uber model allows these individuals to be as flexible as they need to be, which means that they are able to earn what they want, when they want to, either as a full-time entrepreneurs or to supplement other sources of income.

Uber investigates partnerships with businesses that bring benefits to drivers, such as the multiple vehicle financing programmes that have been made available to drivers across South Africa, Kenya and Nigeria, that reduce barriers to credit and capital.

 

The first partnership of this kind was implemented in South Africa with WesBank, offering existing drivers access to vehicles at preferential rates, with a view to establishing their own passenger transport business.

 

This unique model is based on driver ratings and earning potential, as opposed to the norm of credit checks. The model was successfully expanded across sub-Saharan Africa and is being tested in markets across EMEA.

Uber also invests heavily into supporting its driver-partners in their businesses through ongoing technological innovation as well as physical presences in the form of support hubs.

 

Apart from the existing Greenlight Hubs across SSA, five more of these state-of-the-art Greenlight Hubs were opened in Dar Es Salaam, Nairobi, Kampala, Kumasi and Lagos this year and, in addition to offering driver-partners technical and app support, they also offer information sessions and tailored workshops to driver-partners, focusing on training and skills development.

In a region of high unemployment and stagnating economic prospects, Uber’s business partnership approach provides an accessible means for entrepreneurs to not only supplement their own income, but also to become small business owners, thereby helping to improve the lives and futures of individuals, families and communities.

 

Importantly, Uber’s approach to shifting perspectives of how people in sub-Saharan Africa move around their cities is one of partnership with all stakeholders. Uber strives at all times to collaborate closely with local regulators to understand the challenges they are grappling with in their cities and then help them to develop workable and accessible solutions that benefit people and economies. It’s with this in mind that Uber has just launched Uber Movement in Johannesburg, a new website to help urban planners, city leaders, third parties and the public better understand the transportation needs of their cities.

 

This partnership approach has always been at the heart of the business because our global experience has shown us that multi-modal transport powered by technology is the best way to promote entrepreneurship, relieve pressure on infrastructure, and deliver safe and efficient transport that helps people connect with work, business and leisure opportunities.

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FAAN Begins Palliative Repairs on Enugu Runway

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The Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria has notified air travelers and the general public that with effect from Thursday 14th December, 2017, palliative repair work will be embarked on the Runway of Akanu Ibiam International Airport, Enugu.

 

 

The first phase of the repair work will commence on the 14th to 21st December 2017, while the second phase will be from the 27th December 2017, to 4th January, 2018.

 

 

There will be skeletal operations at the airport while the work is ongoing as the Runway will open for operations from 0700 hours local time till 1500 hours local time on the proposed dates.

 

 

This is to enable the contractor have ample day-light working hours in order to obtain stable and even Runway surface, while also completing the work within the stipulated timeframe.

 

 

In line with Standards And Recommended Practices, the Authority has requested the Nigerian Airspace Management Agency (NAMA) to issue a Notice To Air Men (NOTAM) in this regard.

 

“We apologize for any inconvenience this action might cause our high esteemed customers.”

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FAAN Launches Reviewed Service Charter, Receives Commendations

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FAAN Launches Reviewed Service Charter, Receives Commendations

By peter oluka

The Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria has reviewed and launched its service charter.

At an event held in Lagos, Wednesday, to formally launch the charter, the Managing Director of the Authority, who was represented by the Authority’s Director of Engineering Services, Engineer Nurudeen Daura stated that FAAN is a customer-centric  organization and is totally committed to delivering quality services to her esteemed customers.

He described the service charter as a service level agreement that ensures that standards are upheld and sustained, whilst providing an opportunity to our customers to report any service failure within the value chain.

Appreciating the Servicom office both at the Presidential and organizational level for a job well done, he charged all stakeholders to make conscious effort at studying, imbibing and implementing the areas pertaining to their respective responsibilities.

The event climaxed with the presentation/launching of the charter by the Head of the Presidential Servicom Office, Mrs. Nnenna Akaji Emele, who paid glowing tributes to the dedication and commitment of the FAAN Servicom team towards ensuring a successful completion of the task.

She enjoined other agencies to emulate FAAN and deliver their Charters too, as required by the provisions of the law setting up Servicom.

In attendance at the event were the Authority’s Directors of Commercial & Business Development, Sadiku Rafindadi, Airport Operations, Rabiu Yadudu, Human Resources & Administration, Honorious Anozie, Finance & Accounts, Nike Aboderin, Company Secretary/Legal Adviser, Clifford Omozhegian, General Managers from the Authority and Airport Manager, MMA.

Also in attendance were Servicom Nodal Officers from NAMA, NCAA, AIB, NIMET, NIWA, NRC, NPA, Heads of Government Agencies, Representatives of Airlines and the banking community.

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Arik Air resumes Abuja-Calabar, Abuja-Uyo routes

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Arik Air, Nigeria’s largest carrier is increasing its capacity ahead of Christmas and New Year celebrations to enable customers celebrate the festive season with family and friends.

 

The capacity increase which will boost Arik Air’s key domestic routes, especially in the South East and South South zones, takes effect from December 15, 2017 and runs through January 14, 2018.

 

Speaking on the new schedule, Captain Roy Ilegbodu, Chief Executive Officer Arik Air, said “We are aware that many Nigerians are looking forward to the opportunity of celebrating the festive season with their loved ones across the country.

 

“As a caring airline, we have put measures in place to fly customers to their respective destinations during this festive season”.

 

The main highlights of the new schedule are the resumption of Abuja-Calabar and Abuja-Uyo routes which were suspended earlier in the year.

 

Arik Air will be flying daily from Abuja to Uyo and five times a week from Abuja-Calabar.

 

Similarly, the airline has increased the frequency between Lagos-Calabar, Lagos-Uyo, Lagos-Enugu, Lagos-Owerri, Abuja-Enugu to daily while Lagos-Asaba will operate five times weekly during the period.

 

Customers using Arik Air on the Lagos-Port Harcourt route now have an early morning (7:00 am) departure out of Port Harcourt and late evening (5:00 pm) flight out of Lagos.

Arik Air is West and Central Africa’s largest carrier.

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