Nigerian ride-hailing drivers call off strike

June 13, 2023
4 min read

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This comes after widespread protests over the sentencing of opposition leader Ousmane Sonko led Senegal to restrict access to social media platforms.

Here's what I've got for you today:

  • Ride-hailing drivers resume work in Nigeria
  • Kenya plans to test Digital Sound Broadcasting services

Ride-hailing drivers resume work in Nigeria

Uber Bolt Drivers Threaten Strike on Monday

Following a nationwide strike last week, Nigerian ride-hailing drivers returned to work yesterday, Monday, despite claims that their demands were not met.

One report said that some members of the Amalgamated Union of App-based Transport Workers of Nigeria (AUATWON) claimed it was unreasonable to continue the strike given that many drivers depend on daily pay to survive.

Bolt and Uber increased prices by 30 - 40% despite the Union's demand for a 200% price increase.

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Last week, Bolt tried to entice drivers with a bonus of ₦6,000 ($12.64) to end the AUATWON strike action.

Drivers were to receive the bonus if they met several criteria, including making between 9 and 11 trips, working a minimum of 7 hours, and accepting up to 90% of orders.

However, many drivers objected to the bonus because they felt it was insufficient.

So, should we expect another strike? Most likely.

Last Friday, the Union and the ride-hailing companies met, which seemed promising. If negotiations fail again, there will almost certainly be another strike.AUATWON plans to review every immediate response they have gotten over seven days.

They anticipate that some ride-hailing companies will follow through on their commitments to take action within the next week and will then contact them to continue discussing their demands.

Kenya plans to test Digital Sound Broadcasting services

DAB digital radio in kenya

The Kenyan Communications Authority (CA) has developed a framework to move Kenya from FM radio frequency to Digital Sound Broadcasting (DSB) services to address market demand and frequency spectrum scarcity.

DSB is a technology that transmits audio content using digital signals. It uses the spectrum more effectively than conventional analogue broadcasting.

Why does it matter? In Kenya, audio broadcasting is a significant source of knowledge, instruction, and entertainment.

Almost 200 broadcast services have received licences, and 98% of homes in the country have access to equipment that can receive sound broadcasts.

However, there is no room to add more FM stations because there is not enough FM radio spectrum available. But DSB presents a chance to launch new sound broadcasting services in these regions.

Consequently, the ICT regulator claimed that over 1,000 investors were waiting in line for applications.

The Association for Progressive Communication, Kenya ICT Action Network (KICTANet), and the United Kingdom's Digital Access Programme all collaborated to develop the DSB framework. The regulator also included other stakeholders through open consultations.

The proposed framework presents digital radio as an additional service that will coexist with analogue radio.

The CA disclosed plans to test digital sound broadcasting (DSB) between March 2023 to December 2024 to show Kenyans the importance of the DSB.

A three-phase rollout covering 29 locations across Kenya will adhere to a process similar to that used for the rollout of digital terrestrial television.

For context, twelve towns will be included in the first phase, accounting for 40% of the population and 12.6% of Kenya's total area. They are Nairobi, Mombasa, Kisumu, Nakuru, Eldoret, Meru, Nyeri, Londiani, Kibwezi, Webuye, Voi, and Machakos.

Phases two and three will each add 17 and 22 additional sites, respectively.

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Have a great Tuesday!

Victoria Fakiya for Techpoint Africa.

She's autistic and interested in mental health and how technology can help Africans with mental disorders. Find her on Twitter @latoria_ria.
She's autistic and interested in mental health and how technology can help Africans with mental disorders. Find her on Twitter @latoria_ria.
She's autistic and interested in mental health and how technology can help Africans with mental disorders. Find her on Twitter @latoria_ria.

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