Uber Launches In Uganda. What Now, Boda Boda?

Uganda is the latest country to join Uber’s growing African network with the launch today of the ride-hailing technology in Kampala, a city where motorcycle taxis are considered the fastest — but not safest — way to get around.uber uganda

Kampalans can get free Uber rides today through Sunday, June 5 via the Uber app to celebrate Uber’s launch, CNBCAfrica reported.

Uganda has one of the world’s youngest populations, with 700,000 new people entering the workforce each year, World Bank reports, BiztechAfrica.

Uber’s business model allows drivers to be self employed, to pursue entrepreneurial aspirations and this makes it appealing to governments where unemployment is an issue.

However the disruptive technology in the taxi industry means Uber sparks conflict almost everywhere it goes. In Kenya and South Africa, Uber drivers and passengers have been harassed, and worse. But the biggest threat to Uber’s bottom line may not be angry drivers for traditional taxi cab companies, but motorcycles, IBTimes reported.

East Africa has seen a boom in Uber-style apps for motorcycle taxis, known as boda bodas, which are much cheaper than Uber rides and more convenient in African capitals like Kampala, where never-ending traffic jams are a fact of life.

The main problem with boda bodas is safety. Sub-Saharan Africa has the highest road fatality and motorcyclist death rate in the world, according to the World Health Organization. Boda-bodas are responsible for 75 percent of all trauma caused in road traffic collisions, a study showed at Mulago National Referral Hospital in Kampala, Uganda.