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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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Nigerien President, Mohamed Bazoum wants employment quotas for African immigrants

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Niger’s President Mohamed Bazoum wants employment quotas for African immigrants tailored to job needs from European countries.

President Bazoum made the position in an interview with an Italian newspaper, La Repubblica. on Friday.

The president’s argument is that the quota will address European countries’ needs for its labour market and could help resolve the problem of illegal migration and human trafficking.

“In France, Spain, and Italy you have many jobs in sectors of employment where Africans can work,” Bazoum said.

“These numbers need to be established, country by country, and then the consulates entrusted with the responsibility of enforcing them.”

Surveys of African migrants in or heading toward Europe reveal that the majority were either employed or in school at the time of their departure. Yet, they felt despair over their economic prospects.

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IMF Chief, Ceyla Pazarbasioglu, to visit China over Africa’s growing debt profile

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As the debt profile of many African countries continues to rise, the International Monetary Fund strategy chief, Ceyla Pazarbasioglu will travel to China next week for another high-level meeting.

Her travel is part of efforts to press the world’s largest sovereign creditor for quicker progress on debt restructurings for countries in need.

The IMF chief had called for debt restructuring arrangements for Zambia and Chad to be completed shortly.

Pazarbasioglu said it was critical to move forward and that “outreach to China next week is very important, at the highest levels.”

“It’s moving – very slowly, but it’s moving,” Pazarbasioglu said, noting that the participation of mining company Glencore Plc in the Chad treatment was also “a very good sign” that “even the most difficult private sector participants” were participating.

She said the Paris Club of official bilateral creditors had taken years to hammer out their debt relief processes, and China was learning, although she noted that the debt issues facing borrowing countries now were acute.

“The problem we have is that we don’t have that time right now because these countries are very fragile and dealing with debt vulnerabilities,” she said. “What we need is speed.”

Pazarbasioglu said the IMF would continue to press for changes to the Common Framework, including a freeze in debt payments when countries apply for a debt treatment, as well as clearer procedures and timelines for action, and ensuring comparable treatment for private creditors.

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