The company plans to set up East and West Africa “hubs” in Nairobi and Lagos to act as launchpads for forays into Tanzania, Uganda and Ghana
Uber Sub-Saharan Africa manager, Alon Lits, made the revelation in a recent interview with Reuters, according to Innovation Village.
The company plans to set up East and West Africa “hubs” in Nairobi and Lagos to act as launchpads for forays into Tanzania, Uganda and Ghana, in addition to starting operations in a second city each in Nigeria and Kenya.
Lits also said Uber was working on convincing traditional taxi drivers to work for the company. “Part of our strategy when we launch in new markets will be that engagement up front with taxi operators, We will be doing a better job of engaging,” he said.
Approaching taxi drivers is a sensible move for Uber, especially since most of the opposition they face in all the countries they currently operate is from taxi drivers, including Kenya and South Africa.
The company is also looking to incorporate cash payments as part of its African expansion so as to reach a wider set of customers. According to Lits, Uber's experiment with cash or mobile money payments in Kenya has yielded considerable growth.
“It’s definitely going to be part of our strategy as we push across Africa. 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,” Lits said.
Uber also wants to keep the drivers it currently has and also get more drivers into its fold. In Kenya and Nigeria, the company has plans to make cars more affordable for driver to either rent or buy.
In South Africa, the company has already teamed up with a financing company to help drivers obtain car loans based on their work history with Uber and customer ratings they receive on the app.