Uber has been on a whirlwind of expansion in Africa in recent months, launching in another 15 cities across eight African countries since it initially arrived in Johannesburg in 2013. And making what CEO Travis Kalanick called a “big push” into the continent in 2016. But in 2017 the company is facing mounting pressure in Africa, the likes of which the startup hasn’t seen before.
Just as it has back home in the United States and Europe, Uber has found itself at the centre of controversy since it arrived in Africa. In March, taxi drivers in South Africa mounted a protest against the company by blocking airport roads, while drivers in Kenya have been attacked, and cars set on fire.
“We do not feel that it should be about Uber or Taxi, but rather Uber and Taxi,” says Uber’s communications lead for Africa, Samantha Allenberg. “Our technology is open and pro-choice and we are keen to offer it to a broad number of taxi drivers to boost their occupancy rates and chances for profit.”
Traditional taxi drivers seem to disagree, however, and Uber is being forced to drive on alone, negotiating with regulators from city to city. Allenberg said the company is […]