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Smart Mobility in Urban Africa: Geography of Diffusion, User Characteristics and Emerging Impacts of Digital Platform/app-Based Mobility Services


Year published: 2022
Categories: Book Chapter
URL Link: https://link.springer.com/chapter/10.1007/978-3-031-17327-1_22

Author / Authors:

  • Ransford A. Acheampong


Part of the The Urban Book Series book series (UBS)


Smart, digital platforms or app-based mobility solutions are becoming common in global south cities. Over the last few years, major Transportation Network Companies (TNCs) have expanded their services into several African countries with unfolding disruptive consequences. The overarching aim of this chapter is to explore the geography of the diffusion of these new and emerging mobility services in Africa and their emerging socio-environmental impacts. Firstly, the chapter presents an inventory of and maps known app-based mobility services in Africa, to reveal, for the first time, the distribution of these ICT-mediated mobility solutions across the continent, and their key drivers. Secondly, drawing on a large sample survey conducted in two of Ghana’s major urban centres (i.e., Accra and Kumasi), the chapter provides empirical insights into the emerging impacts of app-based on-demand mobility solutions focusing on internet-based ride-hailing. To this end, the following key questions are addressed: (a) who are the users (and non-users) of app-based ride-hailing and the reasons for doing so? (b) what are the associated travel behaviour impacts, in terms of mode substitution and ride-hailing trip characteristics? (c) What are the safety and security impacts from the perspective of passengers? Finally, the chapter reflects on the implications of app-based mobility services for creating sustainable transport and mobility futures in urban Africa.

Digital platform mobility,
App-based mobility,
Smart urban mobility,
Travel behaviour,
Sustainable futures,


  • Book Chapter