Uber is committing itself to the Egyptian market despite economic difficulties in the country, announcing a new support center in the capital that will see an investment of $20 million.
The taxi-hailing startup has launched a support center in Cairo, with $20 million set to be spent on the project over the next five years, creating employment for 700 Egyptians as a result, according to Albawaba.
The investment comes at a difficult time for Egypt economically, with sweeping reforms insisted upon by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) having negative effects for the average man on the street.
The Egyptian pound has lost half its value and fuel prices have soared by 50 percent since the country floated the currency in November as part of reforms demanded by the IMF in exchange for a $12 billion loan, EngineeringNews reports.
Uber’s Cairo Centre of Excellence opened last week, with the aim of improving service levels throughout the North African and Middle East region.
Uber currently operates in the Egyptian cities of Cairo and Alexandria, as well as Casablanca in Morocco. Thirteen Middle East cities support Uber operations, including Dubai, Doha, Riyadh and Tel Aviv.
The California-based company launched in the Egyptian market in November 2014, and has since become one of the fastest growing Uber markets globally.
Uber had two million users and provided jobs for 60,000 drivers in Egypt last year, according to EgyptianStreets.
Pierre-Dimitri Gore-Coty, Uber vice president and regional general manager for Europe, Middle East and Africa, explained that while the reforms have made things more difficult in Egypt, Uber remains committed to the country and the region.
“Those reforms don’t change in any way Uber’s commitment to Egypt. We’re here to stay and we’ll continue to invest to be able to serve citizens over here,” said Gore-Coty, according to DailynewsEgypt.
“Those reforms did create a number of challenges, very clearly, and in particular for drivers … the cost of driving a car and running a business has increased a lot,” he added.
“Through its investments in the Middle East over the past three years, Uber was able to help thousands to increase their income and improve the living conditions of their families. As for the centre, the company has already hired 30 percent of the total required number of specialists to work in the company’s new centre,” Gore-Coty said.
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