Suluhu in America: No solution as Uber Tanzania closes


After six years of operating in Tanzania, Uber has decided to cease its services in the East African nation.

The US-based ride-hailing service will no longer operate in the country as of today, Thursday, April 14, 2022, until further notice.

In a statement given to clients across the country, Uber said that it will cease operations until an agreement with authorities has been reached.

A harsh regulatory climate in Tanzania has made it impossible for Uber to continue operating in the nation, the ride-hailing service announced today.

Uber cites the “guide fare” issued by the Land Transportation Regulatory Authority (LATRA) as the primary contributor. The regulation notes that ride-hailing companies like Uber and Bolt are no longer allowed to establish their own tariffs in the country.

With the ongoing Russia-Ukraine crisis, increased fuel costs have necessitated an increase in ride-hailing company rates.

Uber says that since LATRA issued a recommended fare, the company has had considerable difficulties in continuing to provide services because of these difficulties.

“Providing services is becoming more and more challenging for us. We will not be able to provide services until the environment is conducive for us to do so,” Uber stated in the statement.

Uber drivers in Tanzania block Nkurumah Road to claim their dues from Uber. [Photo/ Dingilai/@Baba_Mtumishi]
The American company says it will be working closely with drivers during the transition.

In addition, Uber says it is ready to cooperate with appropriate authorities to implement regulations that will allow the technology to survive so that the company will continue offering their services despite closing down UberX, UberXL and UberX Saver in Tanzania.

Samia Suluhu in the United States

Uber has closed down Tanzania operations even as President Samia Suluhu is in the United States on a trip that, according to Joe Biden administration officials, is focused on business and investments.

The Tanzanian president is meeting US Vice President Kamala Harris on Friday in Washington.

During the talks with VP Harris at the White House, Suluhu is expected to focus on commercial and economic partnerships and health issues among other matters.

Liquefied natural gas in Tanzania is expected to attract investments of US$40 billion at a time when the world is seeking to reduce dependence on Russian energy.

According to Bloomberg, Suluhu has stated that she hopes to get contracts for the construction of ports, power plants, railroads, and coal and iron ore mines in the country’s northeast.

The Biden administration is at pains to demonstrate that Africa is not an afterthought with VP Harris meeting Ghana and Zambian presidents at the White House in September last year.

On the Russia-Ukraine crisis, Africa has largely remained neutral with the US pushing the continent to condemn Russia over its activities in Ukraine. Africa is steering clear of the crisis but calling for negotiations between Russia and Ukraine.

On Monday, April 11, details emerged that Kenya denied Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky a request to address the country’s parliament. This is to avoid being drawn into a confrontation that could harm bilateral relations with both Ukraine and Russia.

African students trapped in Ukraine. Kenya denied Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky a request to address the country’s parliament. [Photo/Business Insider]
Kenyan diplomats maintained that they had already done enough through the UN Security Council.

Zelensky has addressed EU and Western Parliaments from Ukraine and he expected to do the same to Kenya’s parliament.

Kenya is behind the African Union which has condemned Russia over its activities in Ukraine.

On Monday night, details emerged that Zelenskyy requested to talk to the African Union, according to Senegalese President Macky Sall, who is the current chair of the 55-member continental council.

African countries have been relatively quiet in their criticism of Russia’s activities in Ukraine so far due to Moscow’s strong ties to the continent dating back to the Cold War times.

Russia was expelled from the UN Human Rights Council earlier this month by the United Nations General Assembly. Africa accounted for more than half of the countries that voted against the expulsion where nine voted no and 23 countries abstained from voting.

Read: Putin opens opportunities for Mozambique, Angola

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