You are here: Mobility Beat Afri Ride an innovation of youth in tech
The youth, by their very nature, have always been the first to embrace the latest trends when it comes to technology. The youth can assimilate and intuitively know how to interact with technology through a seemingly fearless curiosity and sense of play
That’s exactly the case with the creators behind the innovative ride-sharing app Afri Ride with its talented team of staff members who range in age from 20 to 36. Mireille Umuhoza, COO of Afri Ride, had the following to say about her experience working for Afri Ride:
“At Afri Ride what takes precedence when developing the app is the potential user experience. Our team is made up of a diverse group of young and skilled members who are dedicated to developing the app in a way that resonates with the experiences and needs of the traveling community.”
Afri Ride connects the entire African transport ecosystem on a single, safe and convenient digital platform, with tailor-made solutions for the fast-growing African travelling community. They accomplish this through a number of innovative features that allow people looking for transport to connect with those offering transport in both a private and public capacity. Imagine a modern-day carpool where you offer up seats in your car at a price you decide to destinations you’re already heading to. Or what about needing a car for a day or more and borrowing a car at an affordable price from someone who isn’t using it at the moment anyway? All of which is managed from one central point – the Afri Ride app.
The Afri Ride team’s age demographic is what, according to Modikoe Mauoane, the Business Development Director, gives them a major advantage: “This gives us a competitive edge and also adds to our commitment to excellence, we are our own target market, our peers are our target market- we are experiencing the same issues and having identical dialogues.”
One of Mauone’s driving force was the level of vehicle repossessions, “Honestly maintaining the cost of vehicle-ownership is quite tricky, that’s why we are welcoming all car owners to offer seats when they travel and share that cost or offer their cars for peer-to-peer car rentals on the app to make an extra buck”
Umuhoza shares why she believes Afri Ride specifically appeals to the unique needs of the youth in South Africa, “The sharing economy is back in style. I don’ think of the youth as just being tech-savvy but also economically savvy. We are not only obsessed with technology but have developed a firm passion to address economic burdens through the networking and thus the shared economy.”
The app also lends itself really well to campaigns focused on helping the youth. Umuhoza talks about some of the campaigns they have been running since the beginning of the year:
“In January, for instance, we started a back to school campaign for university and college students where we subsidised the transport fare for students going back to campus. We partnered with a lot of public transport drivers who offered seats on the platform to participate in the campaign. This initiative really pulled together the community, taking us a step closer to building the Afri Ride traveling community.
“Because our users are mainly within the 18-24 age group, we wanted to interact with them in a familiar environment so we partnered with The Book Market, a second hand book-store which buys second hand textbooks from students. The bookstore would purchase books from students and make payment using Afri Wallet, the digital money transfer facility integrated into Afri Ride. This allowed a lot of students to interact directly with Afri wallet and introduced them to a new and simpler way to look at fund management as well as money transfer.”
Umuhoza says that they are planning many similar initiatives in the future that they’d like to take up again once the Covid-19 outbreak has been safely contained and regulations allow for it. One such campaign is their internship program that they are planning but has been placed on hold as a result of the disruptions caused by the pandemic:
“We are working with final year and honours marketing students. What we're going to do is just give them the concept of Afri Ride and they will divide themselves into teams that will need to come up with marketing and PR strategies. We will judge their strategies and the team that wins will be given the opportunity to implement their strategy in an actual work environment.”
According to Mauoane and Umuhoza, Afri Ride is planning a number of updates to the app that they will launch at the end of the year along with their internship program. More information on these and official dates will be announced on Afri Ride’s website and social media pages – visit their website at www.afri-ride.com or follow them on Twitter, Facebook or Instagram.