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Mobility market seen as Africa's saving grace against unemployment

By , Africa editor
Africa , 12 Jan 2024
Caroline Wanjiha, Bolt's director of rides in Africa.
Caroline Wanjiha, Bolt's director of rides in Africa.

As Africa struggles with high unemployment, analysts believe the growing mobility industry will provide new prospects for income generation for many on the continent.

According to global management firm Oliver Wyman, Africa's shared mobility sector, which includes services such as ride-hailing, scooter or e-bike rentals, and car-sharing, could double in size by 2030, offering an additional 550,000 income-generating opportunities.

This is according to the company's new research, Shared Mobility's Global Impact, which is supported by data made accessible for the first time by global mobility operator Bolt.

The research examines the existing and future global economic, social, and environmental impact of the growing shared mobility sector.

According to the report, the impact will be especially significant in Africa, where growing urbanisation and a rising middle class will drive growth.

"In fact, Africa is set to be home to five of the world's 41 megacities (cities with populations in excess of 10 million people) by 2030," says the report.

According to the business, the report demonstrates the sector's expanding impact on city economies.

It explains: "Currently worth $4.2 billion, the sector is projected to be worth $7.8 billion by 2030. This increase will help to create significant earning prospects. The majority of these chances are in ride-hailing driving, where African drivers earn significantly more than in equivalent employment in Africa (up to 130% in South Africa and Nigeria). The most significant economic impact of shared mobility is the establishment of earning opportunities.”

While the survey acknowledges that there is still work to be done to address the absence of employment benefits for drivers in many areas, it claims that, in addition to greater levels of income, drivers report high levels of job satisfaction.

" Ride-hailing already helps to improve the efficiency of transport systems, but it is critical that the services benefit everyone,” says Caroline Wanjiha, Bolt's director of rides in Africa.

The study also emphasises the sector's importance in providing affordable and accessible transportation, particularly in African countries where vehicle ownership remains beyond reach for many people.

"Shared mobility is already set to rise from 3% to 7% of journeys by 2030," says Dr Andreas Nienhaus, Oliver Wyman's partner for Automotive and Mobility, Climate and Sustainability.

“The African market is the most interesting we study. It retains significant challenges, but shared mobility can support ongoing infrastructure development to radically change the journey mix”.

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