Taking Over The World: Uber Launches In Ghana

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Written by Dana Sanchez

Less than a week after launching in Kampala, Uganda, Uber today introduced its ride-sharing service in Accra as the disruptive taxi-hailing tech company continues its expansion across Africa and the world.

Ghana is the fifth sub-Saharan African country to be added to Uber’s global network, and Accra is the 467th city globally, the San Francisco-based tech company said in a press release. Other countries where Uber already does business in the ride-sharing economy include South Africa, Nigeria, and Kenya.

Uber is cool

Uber is cool, and people who love it are cool, said Alon Lits, general manager for Uber sub-Saharan Africa.

“We see Accra as a natural fit, because its people are willing to embrace innovation and technology and love products that are cool, exclusive and offer a new experience,” Lits said.

More importantly, Accra has more than 4 million people in the Greater Accra Metropolitan Area and “there is a clear demand for Uber’s services,” the company said.

Using Uber requires a smartphone. Mobile phone penetration has exceeded 100 percent in Ghana since 2014, compared to 1 percent in 2000, the World Bank reports. Ghanaians also benefit from increasing availability of high-speed Internet, which helps enable services such as Uber.

Uber recently celebrated its sixth birthday with a $3.5 billion investment from Saudi Arabia’s public investment fund. The company has raised $13.5 billion so far, TechPoint reports. About $2.5 billion went to pay debts. It’s helping fund Uber’s expansion plans.

Accra is the eighth sub-Saharan African city to get Uber, following last week’s introduction of operations in Uganda’s capital, Kampala. Operations will also start in Tanzania later this month, the company said earlier this year, according to IndependentOnline.

To celebrate its launch in Accra, Uber is providing free rides until midnight on Sunday June 12. Users will be limited to six free rides and each trip is limited to a maximum cost of 20 cedis ($5.17 US) each in the Accra coverage area, GhanaBusinessNews reported.

Here’s what Ghanaians can expect to pay for Uber’s services, according to an Uber press release:

· 1.70 cedi ($0.44 US) base fare plus 1.30 cedi ($0.34) per kilometer + 0.19 cedi ($0.05 US) per minute.
· Minimum fare: 5 cedi ($1.29 US)
· Cancellation fee: 5 cedi ($1.29 US)