Transport News South Africa

African shared mobility set to double, driving global growth by 2030

Africa's shared mobility sector, encompassing ride-hailing, scooter and e-bike rentals, and car-sharing is set to double by 2030, generating 550,000 more income opportunities, as revealed in a recent report by global management consultancy Oliver Wyman.
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Image source: Gallo/Getty

The findings are supported by data from global mobility operator Bolt.

The report, Shared Mobility’s Global Impact, highlights the current and potential global economic, social, and environmental impact of the evolving shared mobility sector. That impact is set to be particularly large in Africa, where growth will be driven by rapid urbanisation and a rising middle class. Africa is set to be home to five of the world’s 41 megacities (cities with populations over 10 million people) by 2030.

Sector's growing impact on city economies

Currently worth US$4.2bn, the sector is set to be worth US$7.8bn by 2030. That growth will help drive important income opportunities. The majority of these opportunities are within ride-hailing driving, where African drivers earn well above wages in comparable jobs in Africa (up to +130% in South Africa and Nigeria). From an economic perspective, shared mobility’s biggest impact lies in the creation of income opportunities.

While the study acknowledges that there is still work to be done when it comes to a lack of employment benefits for drivers in many markets, it points out that in addition to higher levels of income, drivers experience high levels of satisfaction with the work they do.

76% of South African drivers and 73% of Nigerian drivers report enjoying driving ride-hailing vehicles, largely due to the flexibility and autonomy it offers. Interestingly, more than 80% of drivers in both countries 84% also consider themselves well qualified to work in other professions, surpassing the percentages in The Netherlands (59%) and the UK (58%).

Creating systems of the future

"Bolt saw the potential for shared mobility early in Africa, and we are proud to sit at the forefront of its development across Africa," says Caroline Wanjiha, Bolt’s director of rides, Africa. "Ride-hailing already supports higher functioning transport systems, but the services must work for the benefit of all. We also need continued focus to partner with cities on areas such as data sharing that helps us create the systems of the future and leapfrog other parts of the world."

Beyond its economic and social impacts, the report also highlights the key role that shared mobility could play in building a sustainable future, particularly in the urban environments where shared mobility services are most prevalent.

According to the study, 60% of the world’s population will live in cities by 2030 before increasing to 70% by 2050. Given that, along with the fact that cities represent 85% of global economic activity, they’ll also be crucial to building a more sustainable future for the entire planet.

The study also highlights the sector’s role in supplying affordable and accessible transport, particularly in African countries where car ownership remains inaccessible to many. Additionally, it underlines the need for shared mobility to complement continued improvement in transport infrastructure in African cities.

Some of the improvements it recommends include data sharing between operators and authorities, investment in road infrastructure to enable the launch of bike sharing and the opportunity for shared mobility operators to support vehicle purchasing schemes and electrification of fleets.

"Shared mobility is already set to rise from 3% to 7% of journeys by 2030," says Dr Andreas Nienhaus, partner, automotive and mobility, Climate and Sustainability at Oliver Wyman. "The African market is the most interesting we study. It retains significant challenges, but shared mobility can support ongoing infrastructure development to radically change the journey mix."

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