Many African nations primarily rely on road transportation for all of their mobility needs, including the transportation of people and goods. However, as cities have expanded, there has been an exponential increase in the demand for a corresponding development and innovation of the transportation infrastructure.
Stakeholders in Ghana have argued that mobility leaders should reinvent the future of transportation so that we may be mobile-smart. This would go hand in hand with other African nations, where cities are redesigning automobile lanes to provide more room for bicycles and scooters, promoting the growth of electric vehicles (EVs), and providing incentives for eco-friendly alternatives.
This year, the mobility sector in Ghana will be shaped by the changes and developments listed below. First, they’ll probably have an effect on how consumers behave, how policies are made, and how our economy’s top decision-makers allocate their resources for transportation growth.
Will Accra catch up to the changing face of cities?
Cities have been dominated by vehicles in recent years, but we are now entering a time where many individuals don’t feel the need to possess a private vehicle. People are also realizing that ride-hailing alone won’t completely replace own vehicles. To make scooters, e-bikes, ridesharing, and carsharing a viable alternative to private vehicles, a combination of these services is required.
However, private automobile ownership remains the main source of wealth for Ghana’s middle and upper classes.
“Accra is a civilization based on the vehicle.” (2010) Armah, Yawson, and Pappoe Due to a shortage of alternate means of transportation and inadequate incentives to utilize them, such as e-scooters, e-bikes, and ridesharing, excessive amounts of car use occur.
Supply and demand for ride-hailing services are approaching balance.
A poll done in 2022 revealed that despite it being a difficult year with currency devaluation and inflation, 55.2% of the people said Bolt was the most reasonably priced ride-hailing service in Ghana. Demand increased so quickly once the outbreak ended that supply was unable to keep up.
Price hikes and protracted arrival times were the results. As a result, the demand is gradually returning to normal levels, and at the same time, more individuals are returning to the workforce due to a greater need for drivers.
We have therefore reached a new equilibrium where we anticipate a large number of drivers on the platform and a large number of earning possibilities for them. Riders will have a better experience as a consequence, and drivers will make more money.
Only tenacious operators will be successful.
The market is still open for new technology developments even though Ghana is currently in the midst of its tech boom. Perhaps a more accurate statement would be that the most adaptable and creative operators will be successful.
Bolt, for example, introduced the free “Call-A-Bolt” service in Ghana since many Ghanaians find it difficult to use their mobile phones to access the internet for a variety of reasons. However, there has been plenty of capital available during this tech boom. Nevertheless, it is certain that there would be less funding because the financial markets’ prognosis is not promising.
Despite this, Ghana is a profitable market since we’ve always been concerned with cost effectiveness. That’s a key factor in our company’s performance, therefore we embrace this new period where financing is a little bit more challenging to get by. It’s also a little more sensible since businesses must compete on their merits, and we believe that because we’ve been running so effectively for the past five years compared to others, we will do far better than many other businesses in this new period.
Will consumers truly reduce their expenditure in the face of the rising cost of living?
It is assumed that the demand for ride-hailing services would decline as a result of Ghana’s inflation and rising expenses of products and services. But it’s also important to keep in mind the cost of living problem. Drivers who work for e-hailing businesses have more formal arrangements and protection than those who drive ordinary taxis (Pasquali et al., 2022).
Drivers will therefore probably be encouraged to make more journeys in order to earn enough money. The firm as a whole will be impacted if consumers elect to use public transportation instead of ride-hailing services since drivers cannot finish journeys without passengers.
Bolt has an advantage over Ghana’s public transportation, which can have a bad reputation for lax safety regulations and subpar customer service. Although trotro is less expensive in terms of price, it is known for its subpar service and safety requirements. This may indicate that demand will only modestly decline.
More than ever, it will be crucial to have the top talent.
Consumers are more inclined to hunt for services when they have more discretionary cash. It is crucial that the service offered be of high quality and specifically catered to clients for a business to succeed. Ghana’s ride-hailing services continue to be competitive on a worldwide scale. It will be crucial to have employees with the correct mentality in the macroeconomic climate of today.
According to a 2022 survey, Ghanaian customers have at least two ride-hailing service provider applications installed on their mobile devices. With an overall driver rating of 4.8/5 stars, Bolt finished 2022. We may deduce from these statistics that, generally speaking, Bolt drivers provide excellent service to Ghanaians. Many organizations will face difficulties in the year 2023, and it will be extremely difficult to locate employees who can work effectively and at a high level.
Consolidation of micromobility
Ghana is significantly dependent on the vehicle, as was already noted. Ghana’s market must substantially lessen its reliance on private automobiles if micromobility is to take hold there. However, in order to make a significant shift in the micro-mobility market, you need to be very huge.
As a result, we believe that market consolidation will inevitably occur. If we consider examples from ride-hailing and supermarket delivery, we shouldn’t be shocked by this tendency.
In Africa, there were 13 ride-hailing businesses at the time Bolt was introduced in 2017. There are now very few remaining. The most recent instance of consolidation we’ve witnessed was in the food delivery industry, which had dozens of companies during the epidemic but is now centralized. We thus see no reason why it won’t occur in micromobility, which is why scale is so crucial.