Thousands of taxi drivers in Ghana are protesting to demonstrate against what they believe is unfair competition from Uber to their business
Uber a 1990 San Francisco start-up, has been banned in Brussels and faces court scrutiny in Berlin.
Uber is a smartphone-app based taxi booking service which connects users who need to get somewhere with drivers willing to give them a ride.
The service has been hugely controversial, due to regular taxi drivers claiming that it is destroying their livelihoods, and concerns over the lack of regulation of the company’s drivers.
Since the arrival of Uber over the past 18 months, taxi drivers, especially in Ghana's capital have been adamant about protecting their business from the mobile app.
Francis Appiah, Public Relations Officer of the Committed Drivers Association of Ghana, says the introduction of Uber taxi services in Ghana is driving cab drivers out of business.
This he explains has brought about a drop in sales since the emergence of the service in the country.
He adds that insurance premiums being paid by the company is much lower than that demanded of local drivers because of the use of private cars for Uber services.
This, he said, allowed Uber taxis to charge relatively lower fares, thereby having an edge over conventional taxis.
Other drivers that Pulse.com.gh engaged leveled allegations on the mobile up for not abiding by Ghana’s road safety regulations.
"The use of private cars for commercial purposes by Uber was a clear violation of Ghana’s road safety regulations, however, authorities have turned a blind eye to the practice".
These drivers also say some Ghanaians fronted for Uber app dealers to enable them gain access to the local market.
“They don’t pay income tax, they don’t pay for embossments, but we the taxi drivers do pay. Taxi drivers also possess AMA embossment licences and stickers, but they [Uber taxis] don’t have them. Again, because they mostly use private cars to do their business, the insurance they pay is much lower than what the commercial drivers pay, they fumed".
In Ghana alot of drivers have signed up to drive for the ride-hailing service. These Uber drivers also have their own part of the story.
Some Uber drivers say the company has improved since they started.
They explain that Uber boosts their income and has made their lives better by giving them more flexibility with their schedule.
The story is not all that rosy. Quite a number of Uber drivers have given up on the driving up service.
The number one complaint among Uber drivers is the pay, according to interviews conducted by Pulse.com.gh with some former Uber drivers.
They complained about unfair compensation for long trips, and not being able to accept tips
But how well are Ghanaians receiving the Uber service?
This is what Ghana's social media has to say....