1.8 million riders for Uber in Africa, South Africa owns the market

Data from ride-hailing app Uber says that South Africa and Kenya are its most lucrative markets in Africa, Kenya’s Business Daily reports.

South Africa ranks first with 969,000 active riders, while Kenya in second place, has 363,000 active users.

Both countries have experienced violent protests against Uber, mostly by taxi drivers, who accuse it of unfair competition.

The company launched its operations on the continent four years ago.

The data which was released by the company on Thursday says there are 12,000 and 5,000 Uber drivers in South Africa and Kenya, respectively.

Uganda and Tanzania have 48,000 and 53,000 active riders respectively, with each country signing-up 1,000 drivers.

Ghana and Nigeria have 140,000 and 267,000 active riders respectively with about 7,000 drivers using the Uber app in Nigeria while Ghana has 3,000.

The data shows that there are 1.8 million active Uber users in Africa.

Uber’s General Manager for Sub-Saharan Africa, Alon Lits, said the service has allowed people to have flexible working hours.

“Drivers love being as flexible as they like; earning what they want, when they want to supplement their income.”

Uber was stripped of its London licence in a surprise move a week ago.

The firm’s application for a new licence in London was rejected by Transport for London on the basis that the company is not a “fit and proper” private car hire operator, The Guardian UK reported.

Uber’s cars will not disappear immediately as its current licence expires on 30 September and it plans to challenge the ruling by London’s transport authority in the courts immediately.

The firm can continue to operate in the capital – where it has 3.5 million users – until it has exhausted the appeals process, which could take months.

Uber’s chief executive, Dara Khosrowshahi, wrote to staff on Friday confirming that the company would appeal against the ruling. He said he disagreed with the decision but it was based on past behaviour.

“The truth is that there is a high cost to a bad reputation,” he wrote. “It really matters what people think of us, especially in a global business like ours.

“It’s critical that we act with integrity in everything we do, and learn how to be a better partner to every city we operate in. That doesn’t mean abandoning our principles – we will vigorously appeal TfL’s decision – but rather building trust through our actions and our behaviour. In doing so, we will show that Uber is not just a really great product, but a really great company that is meaningfully contributing to society, beyond its business and its bottom line.”

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