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Uber rides back into Tanzania

Imran Manji, Uber’s head of East Africa.
Imran Manji, Uber’s head of East Africa.

Uber has confirmed the resumption of its services in Tanzania following a pause that was instituted in April 2022.

The company, which first launched operations in Tanzania in 2016, put a stop to its business in the country citing a challenging working environment as a result of regulatory changes introduced by the government.

Imran Manji, Uber’s head of East Africa, told ITWeb Africa that since the pause, the company has maintained engagement with the Land Transport Regulatory Authority (LATRA) and other regulators.

“It was a sad day for all of us when we made the difficult decision to pause our operations in Tanzania, as it affected riders, drivers and our business. However, during the pause, we still maintained operation of our hailable products and continued to work with regulators on building a favourable operational framework for our business and we still maintained the same team that was in place before the pause,” he said.

Uber is re-entering the market with UberX and Uber XL which will be available for riders to use across Dar es Salaam.

The company says it has been a partner to the city “by providing improved mobility options, economic contribution through flexible earnings for drivers and contribution to government revenues.”

It acknowledges that competition within its industry is heating up.

Manji added, “We know that we face significant competition across local markets. These are vibrant and competitive with many viable alternatives - which consumers can and do choose between. However, we compete in many markets around the world and understand what it means to have a leading position; and we are able to bring in best practice leveraging our global scale and technology and apply it in the region.”

According to Manji, the Uber brand has existed for almost ten years in Africa and its focus has not changed.

“We remain committed to improving the experience of users by continuing to focus on innovations, safety, helping drivers grow their businesses, and playing our part to uplift communities.”

The company has also released details of safety features it has added to its product portfolio, including door-to-door safety features as In-App Emergency button for drivers, Injury Protection, Share My Trip and 24/7 support, including Community Guidelines, driver background checks and screenings.

“Based on research, most riders seem to be unaware of the safety features available to them. As a result, Uber is launching Safety Check-up in Tanzania which will encourage riders to complete their safety profile by turning on and utilising available features such as Trusted Contacts, PIN verification and RideCheck,” the company added.

Imran said: “We are certainly excited about our future in Tanzania. We remain committed to engaging with policymakers, raising the bar on safety, helping drivers grow their businesses, and improving the experience of riders.”

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