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Regulatory stand-off could stall Yango’s journey in Cameroon

By , Freelance Investigative Journalist
Cameroon , 21 Sep 2022

Yango, the ride-hailing service provider under Russian multinational technology company Yandex, is in hot water over alleged non-compliance with industry regulation in Cameroon.

The company launched its Cameroon operations in the main cities of Yaounde and Douala in 2021. However, its business has come under scrutiny by transport union officials and government officials for what they allege to be the company’s failure to fulfil certain requirements.

Last month, several transport unions raised concern over Yango’s operation in Cameroon and threatened strike action if authorities failed to act, which prompted a swift response by the Minister of Transport.

In a ministerial note signed on 2 September, Minister Jean Ernest Massena Ngalle Bibehe issued Yango with an ultimatum to fully comply with all regulations or face sanctions that could include suspension.

The company is required to be incorporated as a company, joint-venture or subsidiary under Cameroonian law with a designated headquarters. It must also register with the tax registry, as well as make a declaration to the authority in charge of electronic communications.

The ride-hailing platform has been ordered to open an account with a financial establishment and declare its fare, taxes and other financial aspects of its pricing structure to clients.

Yango is compelled to periodically publish its terms of service to customers.

The Minister has requested Yango to only provide access to its platform to vehicles that are roadworthy and to drivers in good standing with the law.

The company faced similar hurdles when it entered the Côte d'Ivoire market in 2018.

Jean Collins Ndefossokeng, President of the National Union of Land Transport Sector Employees (SYNESTER) said Yango is operating privately to the detriment of regular taxi service providers.

“They don't have any documents, unlike other taxi drivers in Cameroon who have all their necessary documentation,”said Ndefossokeng, who also accused the platform of disrespecting taxi fare rates and do not pay tax.

Yango did not respond to an ITWeb Africa request for comment at the time of publishing, but has on a previous occasion stated that it is solely an information service and its transportation services are provided by verified independent third parties.

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