Uber hasn’t exactly had the easiest of times in Africa because, like in the U.S. and Europe, it disrupts local taxi businesses. In Nairobi, Uber cars have been set on fire. In Johannesburg, drivers have been attacked. Can a more localized approach make things work better for one upstart ride-sharing company?
Local developers in Nigeria have stepped up to try their hand at adding to the taxi and ride-hailing market. Nigeria, in particular, has a ride-hailing app called Afro. Their goal is to better serve Nigerian culture than foreign competitors do.
And far and away, Afro’s most interesting feature is that it allows users to haggle the price of the fare with the driver. As explained by Quartz,
A prospective user and driver negotiate a price using the plus and minus signs on either side of a proposed price, until they agree on the fare. It’s a nod to a market practice that many Africans are proud of.
Like a lot of countries, haggling is a common practice in Nigeria, particularly in marketplaces where customers and sellers bargain over wares instead of paying a set price for things like Americans tend to be used to.
It’s an interesting idea for this app, but not one that I think would fly as easily in the United States. With the exception of eBay and Craigslist, Americans don’t really haggle over anything. Especially with a ride-hailing app, we like a tap-and-go-type deal.
But as soon as the market opens up, you can count me in. I do like a good haggle. Makes you wonder how they handle the surge pricing, though...