Six years ago, Uber hit the streets of Ghana and is now helping thousands of riders get rides across Accra, Kumasi, Cape Coast and Takoradi, and celebrating its contribution to local economic growth and empowerment.
Increasing economic access through digital entrepreneurship
To celebrate this momentous occasion, Uber ran a three-month competition for drivers who use the Uber app in Ghana to find and reward the top six performing drivers.
Each driver received a 43-inch Nasco TV, a GHS400 fuel voucher and Melcom shopping vouchers to the value of GHS1,000. Congratulations to Appiah Samuel Ohemeng, Kemevor Divine, Justice Attigah, Bimpeh Prosper, Edimah Peter and Tetteh Edmund, who are some of the drivers that emerged as winners in the competition.
While digital entrepreneurship is flourishing in Ghana with over 60 digital platforms offering unique earning opportunities, Uber understands that access to finance to grow these independent businesses remains a challenge.
This is why Uber has worked to increase access to car ownership for drivers through its partnership with Moove, a vehicle solutions company where drivers have access to flexible rental and drive-to-own options.
Marjorie Saint-Lot, country manager for Uber in Ghana and Ivory Coast explains, “Drivers are at the heart of our operations, and we succeed when they succeed. We are aware that there are several other economic factors, including fuel price increases, which impact the cost of moving people and goods and we take the concerns of drivers seriously and actively engage on issues which impact their business.”
“In January, we lowered our service fee to 20%, followed by a trip fare increase across Kumasi and Accra to maximise earnings for drivers using the platform. Our commitment to them is to continuously find ways of maximising their earning potential while meeting the needs of riders,” Saint-Lot adds.
Uber has also launched new product offerings such as Uber Connect, a peer-to-peer delivery option where Uber has witnessed a growing number of small businesses using this option to improve service reliability for their customers.
Meet those behind the wheel
Drivers in Ghana are excited about what Uber has to offer. It’s not just about creating economic opportunities for individuals, it also about helping drivers build their small businesses. Alexander Nii Bortey, a driver in Ghana, who prior to driving on the Uber app had been out of work for some time, says that Uber came as a flexible opportunity for him to make money and a year later, he is still enjoying it. “Driving on the platform has helped me a lot. I have a family and I need to put food on the table and take care of them. It was very hard to make ends meet before I joined but since I started driving on the Uber app, I have been able to do this consistently, while still making time for my family”, says Bortey.
Kojo Blaise, who has been driving on the Uber platform says he has gained a lot of exposure and met many different people who he has learnt from and they too, have learnt from him. He further adds that, “The Uber platform is secure because of safety features such as the ‘Verify Your Ride’ option which provides an optional extra layer of protection to ensure that the rider is getting into the right vehicle with the right driver.”
Safety at the tap of a button
As the business continues to grow and the offerings increase in the region, safety continues to be a top priority.
All Uber products carry the same door-to-door safety features such as driver in-app emergency button, Injury Protection, 24/7 support, including driver background checks and screenings. Uber also launched Rider Selfies late last year in response to driver feedback on rider verification.
This intelligent safety feature works by prompting cash riders to share a selfie before requesting their first cash trip.
This all takes place within a few seconds. The goal is to always provide innovative products and services to help improve the experience for the Uber community.
Saint-Lot concludes, “The country’s accelerated infrastructure development and entrepreneurial culture has inspired us to continue to provide people across Ghana with an affordable, easy and flexible choice to move around the city stress-free. We look forward to the exciting prospects presented by the opportunities in the country and we are eager to continue our work with stakeholders and policymakers to ensure that we drive our vision for urban mobility forward.”