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Uber launches in Lagos as it further expands into Africa

The popular San Francisco-based car ordering service Uber has just launched in Lagos, Nigeria. This puts Uber’s active countries across the globe at 42, and follows positive results after it launched in South Africa in 2013.

As it does with all its new expansions, Uber gave the local celebrity — in this case, hip-hop artist Ice Prince — a stylish cruise around town. Uber has rolled-out its service to include sedans and luxury SUV’s which promotes secure and safe transport (add style) throughout Africa’s biggest city.

For those not familiar with the process, the customer opens the Uber app, requests a ride, and waits and sees how the car approaches. With the user’s credit card registered, the hassle of looking for cash is eliminated and payment guaranteed.

It also has a bunch of tricks up its sleeves every now and then like when it offered on-demand desserts last week.

Quite poetically, Uber announces the Lagos launch as follows:

‘The Vegas of Africa’ or ‘Africa’s Big Apple’ is Africa’s commercial powerhouse, it’s also all about the flamboyant dressing, the unique mannerisms, the boisterous interaction among complete strangers who on meeting immediately feel bonded by their ‘Naija-ness’, the epic traffic jams, the steeped traditions and the spectacular sunsets. There’s that intangible ‘something’ about Lagos that makes it a place where anything and everything is possible, and starting today ordering an Uber is too!

A few weeks ago we looked at Uber’s further expansion into Africa with job posts in Lagos, Accra and Cairo. At the time, Uber’s International Launcher, Patrick Studener mentioned that “The Africa strategy is the same as our strategy globally,” Studener says. “To deliver choice, value and flexibility by providing a safe, convenient and reliable option to get around your city.”

While a great deal of the developing world has been trying to put a the breaks on to Uber with protests from London, UK to the service banned in Seoul, Korea, its services have seen “overwhelming support”. Because of little regulation from taxi industries, the cruise into certain African countries has been frictionless.

We did, however, saw recent attempts by the Western Cape Taxi Council to regulate, if not restrict, Uber in Cape Town, South Africa.

Possible competitors in Lagos include Rocket Internet-backed Easy Taxi, as well as the more recent Tranzit stratup which aims to transport people as well as parcels.

Author Bio

Jacques Coetzee
Jacques grew up in Stellenbosch, South Africa. Keen to take over the world, one word at a time, he has always been interested in both politics and development and studied International Relations (BA) at Stellenbosch University. With an interest in innovation and social change, he seeks to tell the... More