The development of digital technology continues to transform the Cameroonian economy, contributing, among other things, to the modernisation of the transport sector. Digital solutions developed by private players facilitate the daily lives of users while developing a new business activity. Reports Didier Ndengue in Douala
Taxi vairified is an application used to identify the safest taxi drivers. Finexs Voyages supervises its buses by means of GPS. Traveler helps to pre-vent accidents by measuring the speed of vehicles via a smartphone. Thanks to the development of digital technology, the transport sector is booming in Cameroon.
Among the more innovative solutions is WaziRide, which digitises urban transport. The mobile application helps to bring together users and carriers. Its main objective is to reduce the rampant number of assaults and abus-es in the country’s taxis. “Gone are the long waits by the side of the road with your thumb out; gone are the splashing and cold showers due to waiting for a taxi in bad weather; farewell prices that vary depending on the customer; gone are the discomfort of dirty taxis and impolite drivers. Farewell the attacks and violence suffered at night,” says the CEO of WaziRide, Romain Bouani.
The young business leader returned to the land of his ancestors from Germany with this innovative solution that addresses the injustices suffered by the users, and sometimes even the drivers, of taxis. Available on Playstore, the digital solution can be used to order a taxi on a smartphone. During the operation, the user can identify the taxi driver (name, photo, telephone number, etc) and his or her itinerary in just a click. Once in touch, the user and the driver can also discuss and set the fare, or quite simply cancel the order.
Bouani not only believes that this will guarantee the safety of users, but also emphasises the ease of use. “Whether you are in your bathroom or sitting on your sofa, you have the possibility of ordering your taxi in complete safety,” he boasts. WaziRide, the first digital solution of its kind in the coun-try, is made possible because of a close working relationship between the start-up and Cameroon’s urban transport associations.
Adding value locally
The authorities have welcomed these initiatives, all the more so because, while participating in the modernisation of the transport sector, they create jobs and add value locally. Above all, they are helping Cameroon to make up for a certain lag in the area of digital technology. In contrast with its neighbours, only 10% of Cameroon’s population are connected to the internet.
But almost 100 online businesses have developed over the past few years, especially in e-commerce. Cameroon has seen the creation of around a thousand jobs to date – and that’s just the beginning.