Abidjan has become the 16th African city to host Uber, marking the ride-hailing firm’s first foray into Francophone Africa.
Uber Technologies has officially launched its operations in Abidjan, the capital of Ivory Coast. Currently, it is hosting a series of training sessions to bring local drivers on board.
Abidjan, therefore, becomes the 16th African city to host Uber, and the third in West Africa after Nigeria and Ghana.
Commenting on the firm’s entry into the Ivorian market, Alon Lits, general manager for Sub-Saharan Africa, said the move was underpinned by extensive demand.
“We are both optimistic about the opportunity in Abidjan and committed to enabling meaningful economic opportunities to all licensed taxi operators in the city. Specifically, in Abidjan, our data shows that over 50,000 people have already tried to use the Uber app in the city this past year. This means that for the thousands of taxi operators in Abidjan, there will be new clients for every single driver, in addition to the number they already have now,” he said.
“With a population of about 4.7 million, Abidjan is a well-known commercial business hub and top global tourist destination, and the city’s ambitious plans for development and economic expansion make it a perfect fit for Uber.”
Alon Lits, Uber General Manager for Sub-Saharan Africa
Uber says 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.
But the US firm has come under regulatory pressure in many markets in which it operates, including the UK, where it lost its license to operate in London in late November following what regulators said were a pattern of safety failures.
The Ivorian opening follows several years of expansion on the continent, where it has broadened its offer beyond the sedan vehicles that dominate in mature markets.
In East Africa, the firm offers UberBoda, a product allowing riders to hail motorcycle taxis, while UberPoa caters for the humble tuk-tuk (auto-rickshaw) market. The firm has also introduced cash payments in African markets to attract customers without cards.
Uber Technologies is an American multinational ride-hailing company offering services that include peer-to-peer ridesharing, food delivery, and a micro-mobility system with electric bikes and scooters.
The company is based in San Francisco and has operations in over 785 metropolitan areas worldwide.