Uber Appoints New West Africa Head To Focus On UberX Service Levels

By Peter Pedroncelli Published: October 23, 2017, 7:50 am
Lola Kassim has been appointed as Uber general manager for West Africa. Photo - TechpointLola Kassim has been appointed as Uber general manager for West Africa. Photo - Techpoint

Taxi-hailing startup Uber has appointed a new West Africa general manager, with Nigerian-Canadian Lola Kassim now heading up operations in the region.

The announcement sees the former management consultant at McKinsey and Company take on the West African leadership role at the California-based firm, according to Techpoint.

Using over 10 years of experience as an executive within private and public companies in Canada and across Africa, Kassim will fill the role that was vacated by former West Africa general manager, Edi Atawodi.

Atawobi was promoted to a product manager position within the global payments growth department for Uber worldwide six months ago, and the company has waited until this month to fill that position.

Kassim’s focus in her new role will be to drive the ride-sharing and taxi-hailing company’s overall strategy in West Africa, creating additional value for driver-partners while working to improve the reliability and service levels of UberX, the company’s popular low-cost ride-sharing option, according to an Uber press release.

Kassim holds a Bachelor’s degree from Harvard University and an MSc from the London School of Economics, according to Nairametrics.

Uber currently operate in 15 cities across eight African countries, including Johannesburg, Cape Town, Nairobi and Kampala, with West African cities in Ghana and Nigeria including Kumasi, Accra, Abuja and Lagos.

Uber currently experiences strong competition from rival taxi-hailing app Taxify in Nigeria, which is one of its major markets, with new competitor Little Cab entering the market this month, according to DiscoverLagosCity

New West Africa head keen to positively impact region

Reacting to her new role with Uber, Kassim was delighted to be able to positively impact the West African region through the creation of sustainable transport options.

“I am immensely pleased to be joining Uber at a pivotal point in the company’s growth and expansion curve,” said Kassim, according to ITNewsAfrica.

“My vision for West Africa, in particular, is to ensure that we are aligned with Uber’s overall objective of creating sustainable, alternative modes of mobility,” she added.

“In addition to creating value for driver-partners and riders, I will also be focused on ensuring that we continue to engage with our key stakeholders and relevant partners with a view to continued positive impact across West Africa,” she said.

Uber recently committed itself to the Egyptian market despite economic difficulties in the country, announcing a new support center in the capital that will see an investment of $5 million to be spent on the project over the next five years, creating employment for 700 Egyptians as a result, according to Albawaba.

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