Uber Technologies started the ride-hailing service in the Ghanaian capital of Accra recently, continuing an expansion plan that has seen the company regularly add new markets in sub-Saharan Africa. Ghana is the fifth sub-Saharan African country to get the Uber service, less than a week after its introduction in Kampala, the capital of Uganda.
The US startup will expand into Tanzania later this month, the company said earlier this year. Uber began operations in South Africa in 2013, its first market in the region. “We see Accra as a natural fit,” said Alon Lits, Uber’s GM for sub-Saharan Africa. “Its people are willing to embrace innovation and technology and love products that are cool, exclusive, and offer a new experience.”
Uber, which allows passengers to summon cars using a smartphone app, now has a presence in 467 cities across the world. The company targeted Accra due to a population of more than 4 million people, it said, while mobile phone penetration in the West African country has exceeded 100%.
Uber was founded as “UberCab” by Travis Kalanick and Garrett Camp in 2009 and the app was released the following June. Beginning in 2012, Uber expanded internationally. In 2014, it experimented with carpooling features and made other updates. Klout ranked the San Francisco-based company as the 48th-most powerful company in America in 2014. By late-2015, Uber was estimated to be worth $62.5 billion.