Bolt, the Estonian ride-hailing company, has built a driver engagement center in Nairobi, Kenya. The center's purpose is to assist drivers who serve over 4 million citizens and travel 0.9 billion kilometers across Kenya's cities and urban areas yearly.
Driver assistance, effective communication channels, training opportunities, community development, issue resolution, driver gratitude, and good branding will be provided by the center. Previously, concerns were resolved through email interaction with staff located outside of Kenya.
"Bolt is committed to addressing and resolving the needs of our driver partners in an effective and timely manner." The opening of this center demonstrates our firm commitment to improving driver welfare and participation, which will eventually help to the success and expansion of our company and the ride-hailing industry as a whole. "Linda Ndungu, Country Manager, Rides, stated
Bolt in Kenya
Bolt began operations in Kenya in 2017, with locations in Nairobi, Mombasa, Kisumu, Kakamega, Nakuru, Naivasha, Eldoret, Kitale, Nyeri, Meru, and Nanyuki. In March 2021, during the COVID-19 epidemic, they began their meal delivery service Bolt Food in Nairobi. Bolt Food presently collaborates with over 1,250 notable restaurants.
The ride hailer established its African headquarters in Nairobi in July 2022. Operating in seven countries including Uganda, Tanzania, Nigeria, Ghana, South Africa, and Tunisia, the headquarters are designed to serve as a regional center for the company's operations across the continent. The regional hub houses the company's top leadership, including the Regional Director and Interim VP for Rides, Regional Manager for Ride-hailing in East Africa, Regional Marketing Manager for Africa, Senior Head of Public Policy, and Legal Director for Africa
Over the years, Bolt's relationship with its drivers has been turbulent. The largest protest occurred in South Africa, when drivers organized a week-long protest from April 3 to April 9, 2023, seeking improved working conditions from the app owners. The objections emerged when the ride hailer refused to provide data on the number of drivers who died while driving on the app in the previous three years.
Euston Mnguni, 28, a law student at the University of Johannesburg, was shot four times after being abducted by Bolt clients he had picked up in Glen Austin, Midrand, on Friday, March 24, 2023.
The Amalgamated Union of App-based Transport Workers of Nigeria (AUATWON) has vowed to stage a million-man demonstration in Abuja, Nigeria, in response to Bolt and Uber's intention to remove driver's licenses. Bolt wrote to the Ministry of LAbour, seeking that the AUATWON certificate be revoked. According to Bolt, the union members are not employees of the corporation, but rather operate as independent contractors, raising legal concerns. Drivers are upset with their earnings since both firms charge a 20% commission rate, which they claim reduces their income.