Uber resumes operations in Tanzania

By Mark Kawalya

After a nine-month government suspension of its services in April 2022, Uber resumed operations in Tanzania on January 18, 2023 after negotiations concluded with the government.

Uber was forced to halt its services after the regulator put a cap on the commissions that the company charges its drivers, stipulating a 15% charge, down from the previous 33% the company charged. Although Uber raised concerns that the cap would dent its earnings, the government was not budging. The regulator increased the firm’s commissions to 25% after a round of talks with the firm in December 2022. 

According to Uber’s Head of East Africa, Imran Manji, “We are excited to kick off the year on such a positive note by re-entering the Tanzanian market. We commend the government of President Suluhu, her ministries, and the Land Transport Regulatory Authority (LATRA) for their show of support for the growth and development of the ride-hailing industry. he added. Uber’s head also reiterated that it is the firm’s priority to provide a platform where drivers can make substantial earnings while providing convenient and reliable options for riders in Tanzania.”

For its market re-entry, Uber launched Uber X and UberXL, which are available for Tanzania residents living across Dar es Salaam.

UberX is competitively priced, allowing more people to have access to a convenient ride-hailing service. On the other hand, UberXL is suited for larger groups of people, such as families, allowing up to six people to ride comfortably.

For many African countries, Tanzania included, ride hailing has revolutionised how people get around and explore their cities. Uber has been a partner to the city of Dar es Salaam since its Tanzania launch in 2016, providing affordable mobility options, earning opportunities for drivers, and increasing government revenue contributions.

One Uber driver said he was hopeful the new rates would increase their earnings, enabling them to benefit more from driving. A few Dar es Salaam residents said Uber’s return would give them more mobility options and, hopefully, better rates due to increased competition.

Uber is also launching Safety Check-up, which will enable riders to fill out their safety profile by turning on features such as Trusted Contacts, PIN verification, and RideCheck.

Imran concluded by saying, “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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