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UBER ends operations in Tanzania over unfriendly regulations. See implications

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Ride-hailing company, Uber, has suspended its services in Tanzania as a result of regulations that are not business-friendly which has made its operation in the East African country.

The US-based company, which has operated in the country for six years said operations will resume after arriving at an agreement with the Tanzanian authorities, the company announced in a statement on Thursday.

Uber has become one of the lucrative income sources, as proven by Uber drivers carving their own spot in the gig economy statistics which Africa has benefitted immensely from. It is not yet clear what becomes of the thousands of Uber drivers and riders who rely on the services of the ride-hailing company in Tanzania.

“We have made the difficult decision to suspend our services in Tanzania from Thursday 14 April 2022. The guide fare set by the Land Transport Regulatory Authority (LATRA) has posed significant challenges for systems like Uber to continue to provide services to our customers. It becomes increasingly difficult for us to continue providing services. We will not be able to provide services until the environment becomes friendly for us to continue providing services.” The statement reads.

“Current regulations in the transportation sector have created an environment that is not friendly and has been a challenge in our business,” the firm said.

“This is a difficult time for all of us, but this does not mean that it is the end of everything. We are ready to co-operate with the relevant authorities and reach an agreement that will create a stable environment for our business,” the statement says.

The company, however, said it was ready to key into Tanzania Vision 2025 which it believes is committed to building a strong, diverse, resilient, and competitive economy that is in line with the regional and international market and technological changes. While suggesting that its decision to leave Tanzania could be reversed the environment became better for its businesses

“We hoped that this would include creating an enabling environment for domestic and international trade to thrive in a positive and balanced way, but unfortunately, the situation is contrary to expectations.” The stamen reads further.

Uber has been providing transportation services in Tanzania through UberX, UberX Saver and UberXL services.

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Tanzanian Central Bank reduces economic liquidity to curb rising inflation

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The Tanzanian Central Bank on Saturday said one of the measures it has taken to slow down rising inflation in September and October is to reduce the liquidity in the economy.

A statement published by the east African country’s apex bank’s Monetary Policy Committee (MPC), said inflation in the country has been on the rise since the beginning of the year, rising from 4.6% on August from a previous 4.5% in July.

MPC said while the country’s economy was facing a range of challenges, including weak global growth, high commodity prices, tight financial conditions and the recurrence of COVID-19 in some countries, it was necessary to reduce the liquidity to stabilise the economy.

“In the context of high inflation and commodity prices, which has contributed to rising inflationary pressures in the country, the MPC approved for the bank to continue with gradual reduction of liquidity in September and October 2022.

“The policy decision aims at reducing inflationary pressures, while safeguarding economic activities,” the statement said.

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Air traffic controllers in West, Central Africa suspend strike for negotiations after 48-hour disruption

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The industrial action by air traffic controllers in West and Central Africa has been suspended.

The unions announced the suspension after a 48-hour strike having disrupted flights across the region and left hundreds of passengers stranded at airports.

According to a statement by the Union of Air Traffic Controllers’ Unions (USYCAA), the decision to suspend its strike notice for 10 days immediately so as to allow for negotiations.

“Air traffic services will be provided in all air spaces and airports managed by ASECNA from today Saturday, September 24, 2022 at 1200 GMT,” the statement said.

One of the stranded passengers, Nsoh Brinston, lamented on how the strike would make him spend more than his budget on his intended travel to Kigali, Rwanda.

“I will have to spend more than I intended due to the cancelled flight. I will have to do another COVID test which costs 30,000 CFA francs ($45),” he said.’

Also, eight flights scheduled to leave the commercial hub of Abidjan on Saturday were cancelled in Ivory Coast.

Industries like aviationtelecom operators have all their operations disrupted across Africa lately largely as part of the fallout of the Russian/Ukraine war which has caused a hike in aviation fuel.

It is yet to be seen if the negotiations between air traffic controllers and government authorities will birth lasting solutions to the challenge which now cuts across the continent.

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