Although we had been testing in the country since July, today sees the full launch of Careem services in Sudan – it’s our 14th country in which we operate. We have begun with coverage of greater Khartoum which comprises Khartoum, Omdurman, and Khartoum North.
Currently, there are more than 2,000 Captains working in the city, meaning that in a country where unemployment is an issue, we are able to bring job opportunities for Sudanese locals, who may join the company either full-time or part-time, as well as improved mobility and our growth drives affordability and choice.
It’s worth noting that Khartoum’s population stands at around 6.5 million and three quarters of it is under the age of 36. Couple that with a mobile phone penetration rate of 90 per cent and Internet penetration rate of 30 per cent (higher than the East Africa average) and it’s clear there’s a significant opportunity here for a phone-based app like Careem to work – bringing important jobs to the city. And creating jobs is one of the key objectives of Careem.
It’s also going to have a positive effect on the economy, as improved mobility will help people get to work, and now do so in a clear and safe way as Careem always aims to be the safest form of transport in every city in which they are present. Every year Careem invests upwards of $2 million on safety measures to protect both customers and captains on the platform through new technologies as well as through physical areas such as roadside assistance and vehicle inspections.
Taxis in Khartoum are not usually metered and fares are negotiated before a ride begins, but Careem’s pricing is measured and transparent. The cars are modern, clean, with air-conditioning, water bottles and an added level of safety and security. There is also a rigorous pre-screening of new captains as standard procedure, to ensure they have no previous criminal records and hold a clean driving license.
As part of Careem’s commitment to providing leading customer and captain care, a call centre catering for both parties is open for queries that occur during and after a ride. Captains will also be able to drop into their local Captain care centre for any areas of assistance they may need.
But more than investing in business, Careem believes in investing in people. Careem will work to support the local community in Sudan. One of Careem’s most important partnerships is the ongoing relationship with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), through which Careem provides donations and support to refugees throughout the Arab world.
We hope our presence will not only improve mobility and employment but also encourage more foreign investment in Sudan and help draw attention to its strategic location and blend of cultures that enables it to become a bridge linking the MENA and the Sub-Saharan tech scenes. The Careem app is more than just a tool for ride hailing and we hope that along with jobs and mobility, we can help boost the growing tech scene in Sudan.