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African Shared Mobility Sector To Double In Size By 2030, Drive Global Growth

  • 4 min read

● African market will be worth US$8 billion by 2030
● 550,000 additional income opportunities to be created by 2030
● Emergence of African megacities will drive this growth
● African ride-hailing drivers earn better than those in comparable jobs

The size of Africa’s shared mobility market, which includes services like ride-hailing, scooter or e-bike rentals, and car-sharing, will double by 2030, creating an additional 550,000 income-earning opportunities. That’s according to a new report from global management consultancy Oliver Wyman, supported by data made available for the first time 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. In fact, Africa is set to be home to five of the world’s 41 megacities (cities with populations in excess of 10 million people) by 2030.

The study highlights the sector’s growing impact on city economies. Currently worth US$4.2 billion, the sector is set to be worth US$7.8 billion 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.

In fact, 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%).

“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 Bolt’s Director of Rides, Africa, Caroline Wanjiha. “Ride-hailing already supports higher functioning transport systems, but it is important that the services 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”.