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Kenyan Digital Taxi drivers protest poor rates

Price wars have been raging between ride-hailing firms for a long time and the little guy is now feeling the pinch. On Monday morning, digital taxi drivers from Little, Uber, Taxify, MondoRide among others, have gone on strike, demanding their firms raise prices

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Price wars have been raging between ride-hailing firms for a long time and the little guy is now feeling the pinch. On Monday morning, digital taxi drivers from Little, Uber, Taxify, MondoRide among others, have gone on strike, demanding their firms raise prices.

The Monday strike resulted in higher prices, longer waits and ejection of riders from taxis that continued to operate. The strike was later suspended amid negotiations between them and transport sector stakeholders.

The Digital Taxi Association of Kenya (DTAK) claims that prices have gone so low drivers are having a hard time maintain their cars, let alone earn a decent salary from them.

Read Also: Tunisia defends hike in fuel prices, three times in six months

In September of 2017, Uber drivers went on strike in September resulting in the company hiking ride prices to KES 42 per kilometer. However, in the absence of a written agreement, they have gradually been reducing them since. Uber takes the highest commission at 25% off the top. It is currently charging riders KES16 per Kilometre for Uber Chap Chap and KES27 per Kilometre for Uber X. Taxify charges KES14 per kilometer and a much lower 15% commission.

The drivers demand a hike to at least KES60 per kilometer and for commissions to be slashed to 10%, claiming most of the cars in operation cost at least KES45 per kilometer to fuel and maintain. DTAK Chairman David Muteru on Monday said the strike pushes for fair pricing in the industry and better terms from taxi hailing companies. “Recently there has been a price war are which has made this work untenable. When these guys entered the market it was Ksh60 per kilometer and Ksh4 per minute, today it’s only Ksh16 per kilometer and Ksh2 per minute,” Mr Muteru said.

Uber spokesperson said in a statement, “We constantly monitor fares and examine rider price sensitivities to ensure fares are correctly priced so that riders continue to take trips and drivers have access to more fare-paying passengers.”

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Nigeria’s central bank governor, Godwin Emefiele suspended by President Tinubu

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Nigerian president, Bola Tinubu has suspended the country’s central bank governor, Godwin Emefiele.

The office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation announced the suspension of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) head on Friday evening.

The director of information at the SGF office, Willie Bassey, in a statement, said the suspension was with immediate effect.

The CBN under Emefiele announced new designs of the N200, N500, and N1,000 notes in December. The implementation of the policy was however controversial as it launched an era of cash scarcity which some observers say was targeted at then ruling party’s candidate, Bola Tinubu, and some believe limited his chances.

Tinubu has signalled going in a different direction. During his inauguration speech, he pledged to pursue unification of the exchange rate windows and backed ease of repatriation of funds for foreign investors, policies that have not been favoured by the CBN under Emefiele.

Former president Muhammadu Buhari reappointed Emiefele for a second and final term of five years in 2019. He was appointed by former President Goodluck Jonathan in February 2014, hours after he announced the suspension of his predecessor, Sanusi Lamido.

He was the managing director of top Nigerian bank, Zenith Bank before his appointment .

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Ghana records 32% increase in gold production in 2022

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West African country, Ghana has returned to top of gold production on the continent after displacing South Africa following a 32% increase in 2022.

According to the president of the mines chamber, gold output rose to 3.7 million ounces in 2022 from 2.8 million ounces the previous year, as a result of growth in the output of both large and small-scale sectors.

Joshua Mortoti, while addressing members of the Ghana Chamber of Mines at an annual general meeting revealed that “The large-scale gold sub-sector recorded its highest output in the country’s history in 2022.”

He further revealed that the expansion of production at existing mines facilitated the large-scale sector’s gold output up by 13% to 3.1 million ounces last year from 2.7 million ounces in 2021.

Over 77,620 ounces of gold were sold in 2022 under the Domestic Gold Purchase Programme, a scheme launched by the Bank of Ghana to boost reserves.

Mining is a major economic activity in Ghana and a key contributor to the Ghanaian economy. Gold mining accounted for 48.4% of gross merchandise exports in 2020.

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