Business News of Monday, 17 June 2019
Source: Trans-Sahara Industries
Ghanaian company Trans-Sahara Industries has partnered with global Fintech company EightD&Co and its locally registered office, Africa 8D Limited, to launch BluBird Technologies, a ride hailing service for motorcycles and electric bikes in Ghana, with planned expansion to other West African countries.
The service when launched will be the first of its kind in Ghana and looks to disrupt the public transportation and delivery system in the country. This was announced during the signing of an MOU between the joint venture partners.
Mr. Gerald Acheampong, CEO of Trans-Sahara Industries told reporters that his company has adopted technology in providing solutions to aid the government and other stake holders to enable an acceleration in the legalization of commercial motorcycle operations (okada) which will have immense economic contribution as well as helping solve the youth unemployment issues in the country.
This news comes in the spate of recent calls for legalization of okada operations in Ghana by members of Ghana parliament, as they call for the amendment of the country’s road and traffic laws to accommodate the practice.
BluBird Technologies seeks to ease the concerns of Government and other stakeholders in the call to legalize okada operations by the minority in parliament.
The BluBird App will give motorcycle, electric bike, and bicycle owners the opportunity to earn an income by simply driving around or riding on their bikes delivering packages, or transporting people through a highly regulated and monitored platform designed around customer experience, satisfaction and safety.
BluBird simply offers a tech solution built on top of an already existing social system (okada).
BluBird will ensure that riders have motorcycles that pass company inspection and that meet regulators quality standards. On safety, BluBird will partner okada riders licensed by the Drivers and Vehicle Licensing Authority (DVLA).
The platform will ensure that riders wear protective clothing, adhering to traffic regulations thereby curbing reckless riding, monitoring of vehicles on the platform will also ensure that vehicles used to commit crimes will easily be traced and registered owners apprehended.
Rides and riders will be assessed for compliance and incentivized by in-app awarded tokens that will translate into higher incomes.
BluBird is also working on a rider training program for all riders on the sharing platform, special training will be provided for females to enable and empower them to become riders in earning a living wage to support their families.
This service will ease the fears of the opposing parties and facilitate ongoing stakeholder engagements by mainstreaming commercial motorcycle operations into our national transport system.
In closing remarks Mr Kevin El-Hassan, Founder of EightD&Co, expressed his company’s vision to create world-class financial solutions for the world’s low-income and unbanked market, as can be seen with the work EightD&Co has also been doing in the South-East Asian market. “We combine best-in-class technology and customer empathy to design product experiences that drive social impact, economic advances and solve challenges specific to each region.”
At the MOU signing ceremony, Mr Ighsaan Jacobs, the local Managing Partner Africa for EightD&Co, emphasized the commitment their company has for growing their Fintech presence in Ghana and the innate synergies they have with their new partnership with Trans-Sahara Industries.
“Gerald and his amazing team of young entrepreneurial-minded visionaries, represent the very core of what we see as empowering local Ghanaian talent and globalizing their dreams into reality – indeed we are just scratching the surface of where this partnership will collectively lead us to.”