Tuesday, February 27Inside Business Africa

Making Africa’s transport ecosystem benefit travelling communities

Africa’s largest cities Cairo, Lagos and Johannesburg are some of the most congested on the continent with the Kenyan capital Nairobi, reputed to be the second most congested city in the world. Needless to say, such congestion has socio-economic costs with the rate of accidents ranking among some of the highest, says Joe Moyo, Afri Ride founder and managing director.

Ridesharing in Africa eliminates several of the major transportation hurdles faced by individuals in densely populated towns and cities.

“Africa’s people are tech-savvy, and most of them own a smartphone, however, the vast majority do not own their own transportation. And even those who do, battle with poor road infrastructure and extreme overcrowding, as the road networks were never designed to support the number of vehicles that now use them.

“Ridesharing would alleviate the burden that infrastructure is currently having to deal with, and will enable people to navigate cities more easily, and look for work in areas that were previously inaccessible to them,” adds Moyo.

The United Nations says African urbanisation, with an annual average growth rate of 27% over the past six decades, is set to reach 60% by 2050, creating more headaches for planners and politicians alike. But in it, Moyo also sees opportunities. “Urbanisation is happening, and within the next decade or so will reach a tipping point where most citizens live in cities instead of rural areas. However, let me add a caveat – this growth in population means we can expect similar growth in the need for transportation that does not require citizens to own their own vehicle. Ridesharing is set to fill this gap in the market and should attract investors who are business-savvy enough to see the potential.”

According to Moyo, while there are some existing ridesharing services in Africa that have come from afar, there is still the need for a truly pan-African ridesharing service that truly knows and understands the market.

“Ridesharing is fast becoming the norm across the continent. It highlights just how tech-savvy and eager to consume digital services Africa’s citizens are, and how they are hungry for improved and efficient solutions. We take the time to know each region in which we operate, to ensure that citizens can reap not only the benefits but the economic gains too,” concludes Moyo.

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