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We’ll Continue To Open ‘Support Hubs’ Across Africa- Lits

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Alon Lits, Uber GM SSA

By peter oluka

September, Uber celebrated four years on the African continent, and with more than 1.8 million active riders using the app since Uber’s launch in Johannesburg in September 2013, it’s clear that Uber has achieved a lot in a short timeframe.

Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) has certainly benefitted from Uber’s arrival. Citizens have a new, reliable way to get around, entrepreneurs have found a new way to earn an income and cities have also benefitted – with possibly less cars on the road and therefore less carbon emissions.

A Look At Driver-Partners

In a region of high unemployment and stagnating economic prospects¹, 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.

The steadily growing number of Uber driver-partners in countries across the region is testament to the appeal of the model, because it creates real opportunities for local entrepreneurs. And as demand for rides also grows, so does the demand for driver-partners.

“Currently we have more than 29 000 driver-partners taking advantage of Uber’s earning opportunities. Drivers love being as flexible as they like; earning what they want, when they want, whether it’s a full-time entrepreneur or someone looking to supplement their income,” said Alon Lits, Uber general manager for Sub-Saharan Africa.

“Ongoing commitment to our driver-partners is a key priority; ensuring they receive the latest in technological innovations means they can be at the top of their game,” added Lits.

Uber continues to open support hubs across the continent to ensure driver-partners are well-equipped. Apart from existing hubs across the continent, three 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, Uber also offers information sessions and workshops to driver-partners.

A Look At Riders

The 1.8 million active riders using the app since Uber’s launch on the continent is testament to the new mode of transport that riders are embracing. Which is not hard to believe when with Uber, riders have access to safety features such as driver and vehicle identification, In-App help, GPS and feedback post each trip.

Uber has brought many benefits to riders that did not exist before Uber – from its GPS tracking and 24/7 support, to new technologies being added, such as ‘scheduled trips’, as the business develops.

Repeat Uber usage in South Africa is a prime example of shifting private transport perceptions. This month more than 25 000 South Africans 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.

And while riders and drivers benefit, Uber continues to keep social and environmental needs at the fore

This year alone, Uber has used its network to support and assist those in need. In March UberCommunity was quickly activated for the thousands of victims of the terrible Hout Bay fires in Cape Town, South Africa. UberCommunity allowed riders to request a car to collect items for donation to the people and animals impacted. In June, UberCommunity again assisted the thousands affected by the Cape storms and the Knysna-Plett fires in South Africa.

Similarly, in September last year, Uber assisted a local Nigerian business in Lagos after devastating destruction, by uniting with the local community to help Nuli Juice continue its operations. And across East Africa in early December, thousands of riders contributed to SOS Children’s Villages through an app donation dive dubbed UBERGIVING.

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 UberMovement in Johannesburg, a new website to help urban planners, city leaders, third parties and the public better understand the transportation needs of their cities.

“Four years have gone by incredibly quickly. We’ve learnt and grown; we look back at our time in sub-Saharan Africa with pride because we’ve achieved so much and look forward to what’s next to come”, concludes Lits.

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Arik Air, Police Pledge Enhanced Cooperation to Boost Aviation Security

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(L-R) – Arik Air’s Chief Pilot, Captain Abdullahi Mahmud; Assistant Inspector General of Police (AIG), Airport Command, Danjuma Ibrahim; Arik Air Senior Vice President Operations, Captain Adetokunbo Adekunbi; Commissioner of Police, Airport Command, Bolaji Fafowora and Arik Air Chief Finance Officer, Ayodeji Ilesanmi durin the visit of the new AIG to Arik Air head office in Ikeja, Lagos.

The management of Arik Air has pledged to enhance its cooperation with the Nigerian Police in a bid to further boost security at the nation’s airports.

The airline said information sharing was necessary in order to curb criminal acts in the sector, stressing that without the collaboration of all security agencies, it would be difficult for the government to achieve security of lives and equipment in the industry.

Captain Adetokunbo Adekunbi, Senior Vice President Operations, Arik Air, stated this on Monday when the Assistant Inspector-General of Police (AIG), Airport Police Command, Mr Danjuma Ibrahim paid the airline a courtesy visit at its headquarters at Murtala Muhammed Airport, Ikeja, Lagos.

Adekunbi who represented the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the airline, Capt. Roy Ilegbodu said the airline had always taken security as a top-notch since its establishment and pledged to continue with the tradition.

He assured the AIG that the airline would continue to cooperate with the airport command and would not hesitate to share security information when the need arises.

Earlier, AIG Ibrahim lauded the management of the airline for its continuous collaboration with the command.

He noted that the report he received when he assumed office indicated that the airline had over the years supported the command and appealed to the management to continue with the collaboration.

Ibrahim also recalled that the Airport Command was previously headed by an Assistant Commissioner of Police and later to Commissioner of Police before the current improvement to Assistant Inspector General of Police.

He explained that his primary responsibility at the airport was to improve on the existing security network, a task he promised to fulfil.

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Nigeria to Earn N3.63B From Domestic Tourism By End of 2018, Hospitality Report Says

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L-R: Christian Iwarah, Corporate Communications Manager - Air Peace; Muda Yusuf, DG, LCCI; Ikechi Uko, Founder & Publisher - Akwaaba Travel Market; Omolara Adagunodo, MD - Jumia Travel Nigeria; Chris Odor, GM - Westwood Hotel; Olukayode Kolawole, Head of PR - Jumia Nigeria at the launch of the 3rd edition of the Nigeria Hospitality Report in Lagos.

Nigerian domestic tourism sector is expected to contribute N3.63 billion to the country’s GDP by the end of 2018.

 

This was contained in a 2018 Nigeria hospitality report released on Tuesday by Jumia Travel.

 

 

According to the report number of international arrivals in the country and employments generated by the sector are expected to grow by 1.5% and 3.4% respectively by end of year, that is 1.8 million international arrivals and 3.4 million jobs.

 

Omolara Adagunodo, managing director, Jumia Travel Nigeria, stated this while overviewing the content of the 2018 Nigeria hospitality report at a press conference in Lagos.

 

The report also provided insight on the two main components of domestic travel: leisure and business travel, and both grew at 2.7% and 2.8%, that is 1.98 billion and 1.92 billion contributions respectively to domestic earnings in 2017.

 

Ikechi Uko, Founder Akwaaba Travel Market and Tourism expert, commended Jumia Travel effort in compiling the report, said “the data and figures featured in the report can massively expand the footprint of the Nigeria travel industry and take it to the next level.”

 

While announcing that Nigeria will soon subscribe to the Tourism Satellite Account (TSA), which is the internationally recognized standard statistical framework for the economic measurement of tourism, Uko urged stakeholders within the sector to support and rely on the data in reports such as Jumia Travel’s.

 

 

Uko also decried the challenges plaguing the sector, as identified in the report, such as insufficient flights.

 

He said: “the number of flight pairs in Nigeria is very low. Lagos and Abuja are already saturated because almost all airlines want to fly there.

 

“As such, we need more flights to cut across the country because the travel industry cannot grow without a functional air transport network.”

 

 

The Nigeria Hospitality Report from the stables of Jumia Travel is fast becoming a primary source of data for the experts and stakeholders in the travel industry as it offers a profound and holistic insight into the industry that accounted for 1.9% of total GDP as a direct contribution, and 5.1% as a total contribution to GDP.

 

 

In monetary terms, the sector contributed approximately N2.3 billion to the GDP as a direct contribution, and N6.2 billion as a total contribution to the GDP.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Turkish Airlines Signs Global Agreement with American Express Global Business Travel

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Turkish Airlines signed a significant deal with American Express Global Business Travel (Amex GBT), one of the world’s leading agencies for corporate travel.

This agreement which was signed by Turkish Airlines Chairman of the Board and the Executive Committee, M. İlker Aycı, and Amex GBT’s Board Chairman, Greg O’Hara, highlights the expansion of Turkish Airlines’ existing collaboration with AMEX to a global partnership.

The global carrier in addition to other regions has added the South American region, to the new joint service area with Amex GBT.

Turkish Airlines will become one of the airlines to be supported by Amex GBT at the top level, within the scope of this expanded agreement.

The agreement is aimed at determining a common strategy on a global level and increasing the cooperation between the managements of both parts at all levels.

Another goal at this point is to increase the cooperation in product development and sales for “Marine & Offshore”, “Travel and Lifestyle Services” (TLS), and “Meeting & Events” segments.

Other objectives include: promotion of Turkish Airlines’ brand awareness and perception within Amex GBT organization, as well as top level participation in all global events organized by Amex GBT, increasing the visibility of Turkish Airlines in Amex GBT’s communication channels, acquiring new corporate customers through the joint data analysis studies, and also the promotion of sales activities are all the other subjects to be improved within this new business partnership.

Commenting on the agreement M. İlker Aycı, Turkish Airlines Chairman of the Board and the Executive Committee said; “As Turkish Airlines, we are very pleased to enter such an important business partnership with Amex GBT.

With this new agreement, which was existed on a regional scale and now expanded to global, we aim to increase our market share also in the corporate travel segment and to be the most preferred airline for all business travellers worldwide.”

Amex GBT, considered as one of the largest global agencies in the sector, has more than 100 years of experience in corporate travel.

The global agency, which aims to make the business travels much easier, productive and less stressful, both in terms of suppliers and travelers, serves in nearly 140 countries around the world, with 12,000 employees, to 8,000 customers.

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