.

By Prince Osuagwu, Hi-Tech Editor

Uber yesterday said it has hit 1 billion trips in Africa since entering the market less than 10 years ago. The trips amounted to over 10 billion kilometres of trips which is equivalent to travelling to the moon and back over 5500 times.

During the same period Uber and Uber Eats have collectively reached over 30 million riders and eaters in Sub-Saharan Africa.

While the trips helped move enough people around, it created economic empowerment for the independent drivers who use the Uber app, just as it establishes Uber as a company that drives digital entrepreneurship.

Uber said its mission is not just to support entrepreneurs and mobility, but also to make mobility more affordable for the people on the African continent.

Head of Communications for East and West Africa Lorraine Onduru, said: “Since entering the market in 2013, we have created over six million economic opportunities in over 50 cities across Sub Saharan Africa, SSA that we are present in. We pride ourselves in building locally but using global expertise. Each country’s needs are unique so we take the time to understand each of the market needs so we can be responsive and adapt accordingly”.

In the past year, Uber has expanded to over 21 cities in South Africa, two cities in Ghana (Cape Coast and Takoradi) and four cities/areas for delivery in Kenya (Nakuru, Ongata Rongai, Syokimau and Kitengela), with plans to launch in more regional towns and cities this year.

Just last week, Uber expanded its reach in Nigeria, covering four new cities including Uyo, Warri, Enugu and Kano.

The tech company says in June, it will officially mark six years in Ghana, another testament to the role it plays as a partner to the cities it operates in.

Besides moving people around, Uber also moves food with its Uber Eats launched six years ago in South Africa. Uber Eats has expanded the number of restaurants from 1000 since launch, to over 8000 merchants across 36 cities in South Africa and Kenya.

Onduru says: “We’ve expanded our offerings in markets where we currently operate, innovating with new business models to serve to change needs. The focus for Uber in Africa as it embarks on the next one billion trips is to continue unlocking opportunities through movement and changing how people, food, and things move through cities.”

She added that each country in Africa that Uber operates in, offers its own unique opportunities. “We have found the region to be defined by agility, creativity and adaptability. This provides Uber with the perfect conditions to launch and nurture our on-demand economy in collaboration with the local partners to adapt a global business model into an African environment with diverse political, business and socio-economic dynamics,” she said.

Disclaimer

Comments expressed here do not reflect the opinions of vanguard newspapers or any employee thereof.