Finnish startup forges path in Africa with interconnected transport network
Following an extensive pilot testing phase, AfriKonekta currently covers almost 40 destinations across Kenya.AfriKonekta
AfriKonekta seeks to revolutionise intercity travel across the continent with a digital touch.
Finnish startup AfriKonekta has taken its first step towards enhancing intercity travel across Africa, by unveiling its pioneering intercity booking platform in Kenya. The platform enables passengers to secure bus and coach tickets for as little as one US dollar (equivalent to 144 Kenyan shilling), redefining affordable and accessible travel.
In regions across Africa, many areas still lack a comprehensive bus network. AfriKonekta seeks to bridge this gap by linking approximately 30 local public transport operators. These operators are entrusted with routes that connect Kenya's capital, Nairobi, with towns and cities across the country.
“We are thrilled to join forces with bus operators to further accelerate our journey to empower them to optimise and digitise their operations, maximise revenue collection and cut costs at the same time,” said AfriKonekta CEO Tichaona Dande.
Led by CEO Tichaona Dande, AfriKonekta seeks to revolutionise and enhance public transport services in Africa, one country at a time.Afrikonekta
Presently, the service extends to 37 destinations, incorporating over 200 intermediate stops along these routes. The platform offers passengers an array of travel options, including express buses, shuttles, night buses and coaches. All the choices are accessible through an app, a website, WhatsApp or a toll-free hotline.
AfriKonekta’s offering extends beyond passenger services to parcel transport solutions, catering to the evolving needs of commerce and trade.
Looking to the horizon, the company has visions of launching operations in the neighbouring countries of Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia and Rwanda in the early months of the coming year. This strategic expansion serves to fortify its East African presence and continental reach.
“AfriKonekta was created to build a connected Africa, provide customer-focused, low-cost, ‘smart’ and high-value travel, which is not only convenient to book but also delightful to experience. Our core focus rests upon connectivity, seamless timetable synchronisation, meticulous route planning and integration, unlocking doors to intra-country, regional and continental travel,” Dande added.
The company aims to move between 10 000 and 15 000 passengers per day during its initial stage of operations.Afrikonekta
Operating from its base in the Finnish capital, Helsinki, AfriKonekta sowed its growth seeds when Dande sought counsel from Pekka Möttö, CEO of low-cost Finnish transport company OnniBus, a few years ago.
"He had a great vision of modernising transport in Africa and building connections between countries," said Möttö, who is co-founder and chairperson of AfriKonekta's board.
“The plan is to build the network one country at a time.”