NTSA ROADBLOCKS

Going by Swvl case, Kenya not investor friendly

Terms such as 'ease of doing business', 'incentives for investors' and 'supporting innovation' bandied around but the situation on the ground is completely different.

In Summary

• After a successful run in Pakistan, Swvl launched a technology-based alternative to public transportation in Kenya in 2019, which has been steadily gaining popularity.

• It offers clean, safe and efficient transport devoid of the chaos witnessed in the matatu sector. NTSA has, however, put numerous roadblocks on this novel idea.

One of the shuttles used by SWVL.
A BETTER WAY: One of the shuttles used by SWVL.
Image: COURTESY

Egyptian transport firm Swvl saw a gap in Kenya and went for it.

It argues there are too many cars on Nairobi's streets, wasting time, space and money.

After a successful run in Pakistan, it launched a technology-based alternative to public transportation in Kenya in 2019. It has been gaining popularity.

It offers clean, safe and efficient transport devoid of the chaos in the matatu sector. NTSA has, however, put numerous roadblocks on this novel idea.

It says the Egypt-based firm is operating illegally.

The truth is the resistance is driven by matatu cartels fearful of losing their grip on helpless commuters. This was the same battle between traditional taxi drivers and new entrants like Uber.

NTSA and the government should support efforts to streamline Nairobi's chaotic public transport.

Kenya prides itself on mobile technology and gave the world the first mobile-based cash transfer system, M-Pesa.

Terms such as 'ease of doing business', 'incentives for investors' and 'supporting innovation' are bandied around but the situation on the ground is completely different.

NTSA should focus on rickety matatus plying city streets and reckless boda boda riders, who have taken over our roads instead of frustrating investors keen on bringing change to the chaotic transport sector.