Uber booms in Nigeria, eyes expansion to French-speaking West Africa

Thu Oct 13, 2016 10:36am EDT
 
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By Gwladys Fouche

OSLO (Reuters) - Ride-hailing company Uber [UBER.UL] has offered over a million trips in Nigeria two years after it started there and is eyeing expansion to a French-speaking West African country next, its West African chief said on Thursday.

The U.S. tech firm operates in over 400 cities worldwide and in Africa is present in countries including South Africa and Kenya. It began operations in Nigeria's business capital Lagos two years ago and in Abuja, the capital city, in March.

"We recorded our millionth trip in Lagos in July," Ebi Atawodi, Uber's general manager for West Africa, told Reuters on the sidelines of a Nordic-African business conference in Oslo.

After launching operations in Ghana's capital Accra in June, Uber was now eyeing to expand in a French-speaking West African country, said Atawodi, declining to say which one.

"We are always looking at cities," she said.

UBER AS AMBULANCE

In Lagos, users include professionals braving the city's notoriously traffic-jammed roads, students sharing a car to go to one of the city's three shopping malls, partygoers wanting to avoid drinking and driving - but also to go to a hospital.   Continued...

 
An illustration picture shows the logo of car-sharing service app Uber on a smartphone next to the picture of an official German taxi sign September 15, 2014.    REUTERS/Kai Pfaffenbach/Illustration/File Photo