Transport solutions for Africans, by Africans

Africa’s move into the urban age is not only making Africa the fastest urbanising region, but also turning cities such as Cairo and Lagos into the most overpopulated cities in the world.

However, while urbanisation results in a rise in the general standard of living of citizens, cities too often fail to accommodate the hike in population due to sub-standard infrastructure, particularly road networks that are the primary factor crippling the flow of traffic.

In order to minimise traffic, the number of cars on the roads need to be reduced drastically, elucidated Joe Moyo, Afri Ride’s Managing Director. Afri Ride provides a solution to this issue by enabling users who are heading in the same direction to share a ride conveniently.

According to Joe Moyo : “We turn what would have equalled three to five cars on the road into one when users offer up the unoccupied seats in their vehicle to the other authorised users, who are able to book via the app.  This not only minimises traffic but also alleviates the burden on already inadequate infrastructure.”

The snowball effect of Afri Ride is the creation of a strong community of ride sharers who participate in a shared economy which resonates with their own economic independence and emancipation, he says.

The daunting reality of unemployment and the recent trend of retrenchment in various employment sectors means that a lot of middle-class Africans are in desperate need for innovative sources of income, Moyo explains.

“Offering their cars on Afri Ride for peer-to peer rentals will assist in meeting the financial obligations that come with car ownership such as bank instalments, insurance and maintenance. In addition to offering their cars for rental, users can also offer their driving services. This allows members of the ride sharing community to generate further income by acting as shuttle service operators, tour guides or simply as drivers on a day to day basis.”

Moyo says that Afri Ride comes as a ready-made solution to the issues faced by Africans. “I know that Afri Ride and particularly the users who are a part of this ride sharing community have the ability to assist each other navigate easily through these densely populated cities and create a network where employment and opportunities are easily accessible”

In the age of urbanisation, issues such as immobility and pollution are hitting these cities hard. “Public transport has become the casualty because public transport systems in cities such as Johannesburg and Lagos were never designed to handle such a large volume of users, so the issue is not so much poor design, but design without the benefit of hindsight into how urbanisation would affect them.”

That is why, according to Moyo, we as African residents who experience this immobility first hand, have to organise ourselves and create transport solutions that are responsive to our key issue.

In order to combat the rise in air pollution we have to reduce our carbon footprint, he adds. “To achieve this we need to start viewing the empty seats in our cars as a resource and introduce ourselves to the habit of sharing these resources. This means that there are just as many journeys taking place in our roads, but with less cars in our roads- this results in less carbon emission and a healthy environment. “

Mobile penetration of smartphones has risen steeply over the past few years, highlighting that Africa is excited about being a part of the 4th Industrial Revolution. “This reveals how eager to consume digital services Africa’s citizens are. We are hungry for improved efficiency and solutions to meet our transport needs. At Afri Ride we take time to know each region in which we operate in extremely well to ensure that the citizens can reap not only the benefits but the economic gains as well,” Moyo concludes.

ENDS.

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