Rabat (AFP) – Ride-booking app Uber, which has been at the centre of controversy in Europe & its US home base, on Wednesday announced its launch in Morocco, entering the Maghreb market.
Uber Maroc is to run a trial service until September in Morocco's economic capital of Casablanca, a city of five million with its more than 15,000 regular taxis falling short of demand.
"Casablanca is the first city (for Uber) in the Maghreb & francophone Africa," the Morocco director for the Californian firm which operates in around 50 countries, Meryem Belqziz, told AFP.
p>Uber already serves six African cities: Cairo, Cape Town, Durban, Johannesburg, Nairobi & Lagos.
Belqziz, fending off charges of unfair & unqualified competition, said his network would comprise drivers of tourist transport firms with all the necessary qualifications.
Morocco already has online taxi operators, such as iTaxi whose chief Tayeb Sbihi said the market was in need of "greater comfort, security & speed" of service.
The economic capital of Morocco, a market of some 10 million smartphone users, has growing traffic problems. A tramway line was inaugurated at the end of 2012 & a second is being planned.