Uber recently celebrated four years spent serving customers in Africa, and the question of how Africans use Uber came into focus, with people across the continent making use of the ride-hailing company.
From a handful of cities in Africa, the on-demand taxi-hailing company has expanded to numerous African countries, launching a rewards program for driver-partners and even offering a food delivery service in one of its main markets.
Uber now serves millions of African users, and is making plans to continue its expansion throughout the continent.
Here are 10 things you didn’t know about how Africans use Uber.
Uber has officially been in Africa for four years, with the ride-hailing company beginning its African journey in Johannesburg in September 2013. In those four years, the company has served around 1.8 million active riders through their network of driver-partners.
From a simple start in South Africa’s financial hub, Johannesburg, Uber has grown to offer its services 16 cities across the continent, including Cairo in Egypt, Lagos and Abuja in Nigeria, Accra in Ghana, Nairobi in Kenya and Kampala in Uganda.
South Africa is Uber’s biggest market in Africa, according to the company, with 969,000 active riders using the app and service. The San Francisco-based company reveals that there are 12,000 Uber drivers in South Africa.
While many would have predicted Nigeria to be the second biggest Uber market in Africa, the stats show that Kenya takes that prize. A total of around 5,000 Uber drivers in the country transport approximately 363,000 active customers in Kenya.
In Nigeria and Ghana, Uber is becoming a force to be reckoned with, though competition from the likes of Taxify and Little Cab is fierce in Nigeria. Uber has served 140,000 active riders in Ghana, thanks to around 3,000 driver partners in the country, while Nigeria’s 7,000 drivers have provided rides for around 267,000 active customers.
UberEATS, the company’s food delivery service, launched in South Africa during September 2016, and continues to expand. The service launched in coastal city Durban during October 2017, building on its availability in Cape Town, Stellenbosch, Johannesburg, and Pretoria.
Popular average request times differ in Uber’s African markets, with most Ugandans, Kenyans and Ghanaians requesting a ride on Friday nights, while users in Tanzania most used the app most often on Saturday evenings.
A very interesting statistic that emerged from Uber’s research into Africa as a market over the last four years was the longest trip recorded on the platform, with a ride from Cape Town to Durban via Bloemfontein, amounting to a 1982-mile trip.
Uber has attracted over 29,000 driver-partners on the continent over the last four years, allowing the company to produce a 3.37-minute estimated time of arrival, from when the ride is requested to when the driver arrives.
Uber recently launched a rewards program for driver-partners in South Africa to save on health care, fuel, car maintenance and mobile phone deals, with the aim of assisting with costs and keeping the Uber driver-partner happy and motivated.