Morocco has become the latest country where Uber’s plans for world domination has been halted by local regulation.
In a statement, the ride-hailing giant has announced that it will temporarily shutter operations in Casablanca this week given the lack of “clarity about integrating applications like Uber into the existing transport model.” Uber launched in Casablanca, the only Moroccan city where it operates, in July 2015.
Morocco’s regulatory framework only recognizes taxis under registered associations and, as such, Uber has operated in a legal grey area in the country since its launch. Like it has in many of the markets where it currently operates, Uber has faced opposition from local taxi groups in Morocco who claim that the ride-hailing company’s operations undercuts their business.
For its part, Uber claims that it is has been forced to suspend operations as there is “no real reform and an environment conducive to new mobility solutions.” The company says it will resume operations in Morocco, where it has garnered 300 drivers and 19,000 regular riders since its launch, “as soon as new rules are in place.”
The company has had much better luck elsewhere in North Africa though. Last year, its driver pool in Egypt, it’s largest African market, reached 150,000. It also plans to launch its Uber Eats service in Egypt later this year.
Uber’s withdrawal from Morocco comes only a month after SoftBank, now Uber’s largest shareholder, suggested a lack of interest and faith in Uber’s Africa business and noted that the company will be better served by focusing on its core markets like the US, Europe, Latin America, and Australia.
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