A startup has launched a bike and scooter share in Africa.
Majority of Africans still don’t drive but instead commute to work using public means or sometimes they ride to work. The micromobility concept in Africa is not that common as a matter of fact there’s hardly any. This is why CEO Tony Adesina chose to invest in this opportunity, he saw a need and he is now creating the solution.
However, even if we have many riders in Africa the government rarely considers bike lanes in their infrastructure. But in countries like Rwanda even if bike lanes exist the concept of bike and scooter share is still very foreign to them.
Adesina has described the African market as “quite unique”.
“I don’t think it’s somewhere where you can bring an existing model, maybe that worked in the States or the UK and just dump in a country like South Africa or Rwanda. You have to understand the culture and the people you’re dealing with. It takes quite some time. You have to study the terrain and make sure the model you run in the U.S. or the U.K. can actually fit. Another thing is price. The buying power is not as heavy as you have in the States. So the numbers have to make sense and you have to make sure that the market you’re going into can meet your projected goals.”
The biggest challenge with this innovation are the infrastructures in Africa. In Europe this model has been implemented and has worked so well because their road plans consider riders. Culturally, Africans prefer cars or public means than riding. Currently in Kenya, some riders have been protesting in hopes that the government will start including bike lanes for riders. Millions of riders die yearly because there’s nowhere for them to safely ride their bikes.
In Europe riding bikes and scooters is considered normal that even kids can safely do so. Europe would therefore be a much better market to market this startup than in Africa, we barely have our infrastructure figured out yet.