Cairo is proving to be fertile ground for the ride-hailing giant, Uber. With the city’s infamous traffic jams and inefficient transport systems—it’s been called “one of the most stressful places” in the world—Uber has become an attractive proposition.
Pierre-Dimitri Gore-Coty, Uber’s head of operations for Europe, Middle East and Africa, told Fin24, a South African news site, that demand for Uber in Cairo is “literally exploding.” In total, he said, Uber currently has around 60,000 “driver partners” in Africa and is adding them in Cairo at a rate of 2,000 a month. In August, Uber said it had 30,000 drivers in Cairo. So the city now holds more than half of the Uber drivers on the continent.
“Egypt, right now, out of all the African countries we have is probably the fastest growing,” Gore-Coty said. He also projected that Cairo could overtake London and Paris over the next year in terms of trip numbers.
Cairo is the second most populous African city Uber operates in. Lagos, with its 21 million people, is the first. The service there has notched over a million trips and grew 30% faster in its first 16 months than in its first 16 months in London. But now it is facing new government regulation that could severely restrict the number of drivers.
In Cairo too, as in many other cities, Uber has had to fight off protests from local taxi groups who have accused the ride-hailing giant of “operating illegally.” So far, though, the government has not decided to intervene, and as a result, Uber is booming.