Uber has announced its expansion in Africa and the Middle East a while ago. However, recently there was quite a bit of news coverage on this topic. Apparently, the next city for Uber to launch its services will be Accra, the capital of Ghana. Accra will be the first city in Ghana join the Uber network (Source: Ghanaweb). Just before adding Accra to its global network, Uber started operating in Kampala, Uganda. All this goes to show that the Uber network in Africa is expanding rapidly.
Including Accra and Kampala, Uber is now operating in 13 cities and in seven countries on the African continent – Nigeria, Kenya, South Africa, Uganda, Morocco, Egypt and Ghana.
In addition to this geographical expansion, Uber is diversifying its business by the end of the year by introducing UberEverything into its sub-saharan division. UberEverything is connecting Ubers drivers network with product/food delivery and carrier services. From a tactical standpoint, Ubers expansion into the food/product delivery sector makes sense: Since Uber can build on its existing drivers network, the company has to invest very few resources in order to gain access to a large market. According to Quartz Africa, potential challenges could be the lack of adequate infrastructure such as poor road networks and other logistics problems in some of the cities.
It goes to show: Ubers expansion in Africa is far from just being a geographical one. Ubers strategy on the African continent seems to be all about diversifying.
But why is that? The reason could be that Uber is trying to secure its dominant position on the market. In competitive markets, companies have to constantly keep innovating in order to stay competitive. As Quartz Africa states in an article, Ubers competition is growing, and a new upcoming service called Safaricom might just be able to compete with Uber. The local company is launching their ride-hailing service in Kenya that might be cheaper and better for the local community. All this goes to show that Ubers diversifying-strategy might serve the objective to obtain the key market advantage over its competitors.