30 million Sub-Saharan Africans have used an Uber app

Uber landed on African shores in 2013 and it has had what we’ll call a decent time on the continent.

Over it’s ten years, Uber says that it has completed one billion trips in Africa totaling 10 billion kilometres. These are big numbers but then again, Africa is a big land mass and one billion trips over a 9 year period looks less monumental when you factor that in.

Perhaps more telling is how many users the platform has. Despite mentioning Africa in its press release announcing this news, when looking at users we are given a look at the Sub-Saharan Africa region. To that end, Uber reports that, together with Uber Eats, it has served 30 million users.

According to data from the World Bank, the population in Sub-Saharan Africa was 1.14 billion by the end of 2020. While Uber is sharing this information two years after that data was publish, 30 million users only accounts for 2 percent of the population today.

We won’t deny that Uber is a useful app but we will also highlight that the way Uber operates in South Africa can be incredibly problematic at times. Not only are drivers taken advantage of by syndicates but riders have expressed concerns about safety at the hands of drivers as well.

To its credit, Uber has introduced a number of safety features during it’s tenure on the continent to help make the experience safer for drivers and riders.

Next year will mark a decade of Uber being on the African continent and we really hope that it marks the occasion by addressing some of the pitfalls of the application. We’re also curious to see whether Uber intends to drive growth on the continent and how it intends to do so given this relatively slow growth.

As part of this announcement, Uber is giving away a year of discounted rides to users who request a trip between 25th May and 28th June 2022. The discount is R100 off a trip but you get that for a year for every trip you take. You can enter this competition simply by requesting a ride but we recommend getting acquainted with the terms and conditions here.



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