While petrol-powered motorbike taxis have become the main means of public transport in West Africa, mobility start-up Gozem will deploy a fleet of 6,000 electric motorbikes by 2023. The operation will be carried out with $10 million in funding from the International Finance Corporation (IFC), the World Bank's private sector financing arm.
West Africa is experiencing strong demographic growth, which increases congestion and pollution from conventional means of mobility. In this context, the International Finance Corporation (IFC) is granting a loan of 10 million dollars (6.25 billion CFA francs) to the mobility start-up Gozem for the deployment of 6,000 electric motorbikes in Benin and Togo.
By granting this financing, the subsidiary of the World Bank Group, which is responsible for financing the private sector, intends to contribute to the implementation of a concrete solution to the problems of youth unemployment and atmospheric pollution, notably through the reduction of CO2 emissions, as well as energy and maintenance costs for future drivers of two-wheeled vehicles. Thus, the partnership between the two entities includes testing electric motorbikes under motorbike taxi operating conditions by June 2023.
“Motorcycle taxi drivers now have the opportunity to buy or rent electric motorbikes, with the ultimate goal of increasing the amount of money they take home,” says the company co-founded in 2018 by Gregory Costamagna, Raphael Dana and Emeka Ajene. Through its mobile app Africa’s Super App, Gozem offers an e-commerce service for ordering vehicles and deliveries of various products in West Africa (Togo, Benin) and Central Africa (Gabon).
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If the start-up is also planning to set up in Senegal, the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and Nigeria, it is because sub-Saharan Africa is full of at least 12 million two-wheeled vehicle drivers. But they have difficulty financing the purchase of their own motorbikes. That is why Gozem plans to raise funds from potential investors before the end of this year. The funds raised will be used to finance its electric motorbikes.