The ride-sharing app, Uber, launched in Africa since 2013 has gained traction. No one could have believed that Africa would adopt the concept of hailing a ride through mobile apps at first. The operation started with signing up of trusted drivers as a partnership before product launch.
To see drivers buy into this new fashion of transportation is surprising experienced drivers that are used to conventional transportation mode of picking up more than one passenger on tour. Contrary to the conception, that was not a big deal for Uber, this could be as a result of more profit drivers could make by partnering with them, so who won’t want to make a profit.
What seems to be a significant problem for Uber in Africa was percentage penetration of internet, which is a determinant of its product adoption. Africa is still a developing country, and internet is not widely spread across the region.
Internet world stats 2017 data has it that the penetration of internet in Nigeria is 47.7%, 54.00% in South Africa, and 89.40% in Kenya. This shows that Kenya is one of the most web-enabled countries in Africa, and has surpassed Nigeria with about 20%, quite a considerable margin.
For Kenya to have such a figure is a big deal, and it merely means that the number of people that have access to the internet in Kenya is more than those that have no access to the internet, compared to Nigeria and South Africa, which is almost equal number of internet users to no internet users.
Uber was firstly launched in Johannesburg, South Africa in 2013, then Nigeria has about 51.8 million internet users, while South Africa has 20.1 million internet users, Kenya was quite lesser.
Later in 2014, Uber was launched in Nigeria and Kenya in 2015. To now know that Kenya promise more market for Uber even regardless of late launch, shows that enormous growth is taking place there.
According to the business daily, Uber has 363,000 active users in Kenya to rank the second most significant market in Africa, and South Africa which is the most significant market has 969,000 active users, Nigeria lags behind Kenya with 267,000 users.
The margin of users in South Africa is quite alarming, although this could be attributed to the fact that Uber was first launched there in 2013 and also due to the nature of the market. In my own opinion Nigeria has the number regarding population, and throughout Africa, Nigeria is the most populous country, and the aggregate internet users in Nigeria surpass that of Kenya talk more of South Africa.
Apparently for Kenya to be the second biggest market does not necessarily depend on the population of internet users, but the important thing is the lifestyle, and promptness to adapt with trends.
I guess that is where Kenya got it right better than Nigeria. The companies also need to take responsibility of re-orientating users about the value of the tech-enabled product; Users too, need to adopt the solace that technology has brought as to improve existence.
The world is changing fast, especially in this mobile-first world where people directly access the web with their mobile devices, so more should be done to get users addicted to using a mobile device for anything possible, and not just been a stereotype and selective, like using the phone just for social media. Only with this would Nigeria and Africa as a whole rise to standard and become a potential market for businesses and companies