AFRICA – Uber, a ride hailing firm has appointed Kagiso Khaole as its new general manager for the Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) region.

He takes over from Frans Hiemstra, who has been moved to the role of regional general manager for Uber Middle East and Africa.

Khaole joined Uber in 2021, when he led mobility operations across SSA, and previously worked in several industries, including e-commerce, software and services, consumer electronics, management consulting, insurance and banking.

According to Uber, his wealth of experience makes him well-positioned to further grow the business in the region, which is operational in 56 cities across South Africa, Ghana, Cote d’Ivoire, Kenya, Tanzania, Nigeria and Uganda.

The company is available in over 10 000 cities in more than 65 countries across the globe.

“Kagiso’s contribution to the rides business has been nothing short of excellent, and I am confident our SSA region will continue to grow from strength to strength under his leadership,” Hiemstra said.

The e-taxi company is billed as the world’s largest taxi firm, with a market cap of US$64.32 billion – making Uber the world’s 232nd most valuable firm by market capitalization.

Uber says it sees Africa as an important market, having facilitated over a billion trips on the continent since entering the market less than 10 years ago.

However, the ride-hailing firm has faced winds of opposition in SA over the years, with violence erupting between metered taxi and e-hailing drivers across the country.

Uber has had to contend with resistance from rival metered taxi operators, who have fought to push Uber partner drivers out of what they say is their territory.

“We are certainly excited about the future, especially because next year, we will be celebrating our 10th anniversary in SSA,” said Khaole.

“We continue to remain committed to raising the bar on safety, as well as improving the experience of drivers, delivery people and riders using the Uber app. I am excited to be a part of this journey.”

Uber says it has created over three million economic opportunities across the rides and delivery businesses in the over 50 SSA cities in which it is present.

Since inception on the continent, Uber and Uber Eats have collectively reached over 30 million riders and eaters across SSA, it says.

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