New apps for motorcycle taxis in West Africa

Thanksto the development of information and communication technologies, over recent years, Africa has seen the creation of severalapplications in various fields.

Among these is the emergence of applications dedicated; to transport, especially motorcycle taxis, including for example GOZEM or HEETCH developed by French start-ups and whose use has extended to the West Africa (Benin, Togo, Nigeria, etc.).

Even i this sector is not yet fully regulated, and there are some malfunctions in terms of pricing or ignorance of the code the road, we can only observe the extent that has taken this phenomenon through thousands of motorcycles carrying passengers daily thanks to thes new ICTs. In other words, since the beginning of 2019, the two French startups have set up operations in Africa, particularly in Abidjan, where passengers order a motorcycle taxi via the app, which automatically relays information to drivers so that they can recover their client at the starting point and drop it at his point of arrival.

The weak point is the afety of the traveler during the journey, Heetch has chosen to recruit these drivers through a rigorous process combining several conditions including: the possession of a driver’s license, an identity card as well as its own transport vehicle meeting the criteria of the start-up « 5% of candidates only are hired » (source

In addition to bringing easier access to mobility, exchanges between the Heetch start-up and the Ivorian authorities suggest an expansion of the platform in Côte d’Ivoire, accompanied by the creation of at least 4,000 jobs by 2021. For ease of payment, these platforms such as GOZEM (already present in Togo and Benin) and HEETCH certify a price to users that can be paid in cash but also by credit card or Mobile Money. The goal is to facilitate, secure and reliable access to mobility, these start-ups have chosen a well-defined positioning to make this mode of transportation affordable and secure.

Written by Hugo Rodriguez

Viettel Global’s success in rural areas for low-income people

Viettel Global, Vietnam’s leading telecom operator, is growing and gaining more and more importance across the African continent through their mobile operators like LumitelMovitel and Nexttel and this is just the start of it. 

After 3 years in Cameroon, and in cooperation with BestCam, Nexttel became a major operator in the country with more than 5 million subscribers. But that’s not all, with their second operator Movitel they land in Mozambique where they realize an impressive growth in 5 years thanks to their targeted clientele: a low-income clientele living in rural areas. A target well known in Africa. Their market share is approaching the 50% mark with around 9 million subscribers out of the 19 million users in Mozambique. Moreover, it is the only operator available since the tropical cyclone slammed the country in March 2019. 

In 2015 it is in Tanzania under the brand Halotel that Viettel starts their new business. They rise to the 4th place customer wise but in a more competitive market than the two previous ones. 

But it is in Burundi that they impress the most by being the first ever telephone operator, through Lumitel, to spread internet in 4G in the whole country since last December. 

After the success achieved in these four countries, Viettel Global has West Africa in the back of their mind. They are in advanced talks with Burkina Faso, but it is not a done deal yet. The Viettel team is overflowing of confidence in this market where their offerings are perfectly in line with the demand of the African continent: A « low cost » internet connection that can be used in rural areas, making the access to ICT’s on the continent easier and easier. 

written by Mathieu HUMERY