Move over Johannesburg, Cairo is now Uber’s busiest African city

It seems I’m now writing one thing or the other about Uber every week. For this week’s edition of Uber news, Business Tech just reported that Cairo has surpassed Johannesburg as Uber’s biggest and busiest African city.

According to Pierre-Dimitri Gore-Coty who is Uber’s Head of Operations in Europe, Middle East and Africa, Cairo overtook Jo’burg a few months ago and there are about 2,000 Egyptian drivers joining the platform every month. In his words, “What we call the green-light hub, which is the support centre for drivers we have in Cairo, is one of the most visited in the world.” He expects that trips in Cairo could overtake those in London and Paris by next year.

There are an estimated 20.5 million people living in Cairo’s metropolitan area, and demand for Uber has surged to the point that Cairo now has half of the over 60,000 Uber driver-partners across Africa. Impressive, considering that Uber launched in Cairo in November 2014. “It is literally exploding,” says Gore-Coty, “Overall, demand for Uber across Africa is growing strongly and the continent is one of our fastest-growing regions in the world.”

Uber is currently available in 15 African cities with the number expected to rise next year. Demand for Uber in Africa has been buoyed by the rise of fast-growing cities that suffer from congested traffic, job opportunities that the service offers and rising car ownership levels, says Gore-Coty.

Our report on the state of ridesharing in Africa points us to the fact that Uber was able to grow tremendously in Cairo after it enabled cash payments in December 2015, because even though the city is densely populated, banking and credit card penetration is low. Uber obviously understands its local markets and adjusts accordingly – a recipe for success anytime, any day.

With Taxify, Little and other competitors entering into the picture and scrambling for market share, it remains to be seen whether Uber’s numbers will change anytime soon. Me thinks, probably not. Except one of these companies or even a new player entirely, come into some Didi money, I don’t see how.