Tech in Ghana Uber sees growth in Accra; plans to expand to Kumasi despite outcry by taxi drivers

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Uber started operations in Accra in June 2016, almost a year later, the company looks forward to moving to Kumasi, Ghana's next largest city.

play Kofi Agyare, Country Lead for Ghana, Alon Lits, General Manager for Sub-Saharan Africa (L-R) (Pulse Ghana)

Uber, though facing a litany of court cases outside Ghana, seems to be enjoying their presence in the West African country.

At a press conference in Accra on Thursday, the company revealed their plans to expand in Ghana to other cities apart from Accra.

READ ALSO: Uber smartphone apps provisionally banned in Italy

Speaking to a group of journalists at the event,  Alon Lits, General Manager of Uber for Sub-Saharan Africa market revealed that the company was looking forward to open up operations in Kumasi by the end of the third quarter of 2017.

play Alon Lits speaking at the conference (Pulse Ghana)

 

Accra is our fastest growing market among the three we launched in June 2016”, Alon Lits explain on why the company was planning to move to Kumasi.

The intention is to grow upwards, and we want to grow quickly”, Alon Lit stated. “I can give you a commitment that we look forward to launching in Kumasi before the year ends”.

Uber started operations in Accra in June 2016 alongside Dar Es Saleem, Kumpalar.

Kumasi is the second largest city in Ghana, with a population of 2 million, according to a 2013 estimate and is known as the second economic hub of Ghana apart from Accra.

How Uber gets its cut play A cross-section of the Green Light Hub where new Uber drivers are taken through onboarding (Pulse Ghana)

 

At the conference, Alon Lits took journalists through  Uber in Ghana, the business model, the technology behind the app and the influence on the transportation sector in Ghana.

Lits, however, maintained that Uber was not a transportation company as he explained the relationship between drivers and Uber. He was responding to a question posed on whether Uber paid all the relevant taxes in Ghana.

Earlier in the month, a coalition of taxi driver had complained that Uber was shortchanging the Government of Ghana by not paying all the taxes paid by  regular taxis.

play Selected Uber drivers speaking at the conference (Pulse Ghana)

 

Lits explain that Uber pays all relevant taxes. “We support regulation, we support regulation which maximises economic opportunity”, he said.

We are an open technology platform...meaning that anyone can join the platform”, he explained. “We are rather making the industry bigger that it was before”, Alon Lits said of the worries that Uber was crippling the taxi system in Ghana.

READ ALSO: Taxi unions in Ghana decry competition from Uber

He however explained that the only advantage Uber drivers are enjoying over regular taxis is being able to forfeit the money paid as “ranking” fee at taxi ranks. “The technology of Uber has defeated the need to pay ranking fee”.

Uber said more than 1400 drivers in Ghana use the app.

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