Gozem and IFC join forces to co-develop a $10 million project that will enable Moto-Taxi drivers in Togo and Benin to access affordable vehicle financing to purchase or rent bikes with the ultimate goal of increasing their take-home income. The project will also validate that electric bikes are a suitable replacement for the current petrol bikes and that their adoption at scale will reduce greenhouse gas emissions significantly and also help drivers save money through lower energy and maintenance costs.

There are around 12 million Moto-Taxi drivers in West and Central Africa that operate in a mostly informal economy. Most Moto-Taxi drivers do not have access to traditional banks and micro-finance institutions to finance their vehicles. Instead, they rely on money lenders that charge higher interest rates, often above 70 percent annually. Gozem, with its Mobility / Ecommerce / Fintech Super App, has put the driver at the center of its strategy to respond to their daily challenges.

Gozem has launched many programs to help drivers increase their income, decrease their cost of operation, and access education. Gozem began providing vehicle financing to its drivers 14 months ago and they have now helped more than 2,000 drivers acquire vehicles with affordable financing.

Through this partnership, Gozem and IFC will finance new vehicles for 6,000 drivers and build a platform that will enable Gozem to finance millions more. Over the next 12 months, Gozem and IFC will also work together to test electric bikes in Moto-Taxi operating conditions and build a green battery-swapping station network in Togo and Benin to demonstrate electric bikes can save drivers money.

“Moto-Taxi drivers in West and Central Africa will need access to $3 billion dollars of credit facilities annually to finance the replacement of their vehicles and we are excited that IFC is placing their trust in Gozem to be at the forefront of providing affordable financing solutions to these underserved communities,” says Gregory Costamagna, Co-Founder and Co-CEO of Gozem.

“Electric vehicles have the power to transform the moto-taxi market in West and Central Africa by lowering carbon emissions and lowering operating costs for drivers. By working with Gozem, we will increase affordable and green financing solutions for moto-taxi drivers to shift to electric bikes. We hope IFC’s investment for these underserved communities will encourage other investors and accelerate the reduction of poverty and greenhouse gasses emissions in these markets,” says Aliou Maiga, IFC’s Regional Director for West and Central Africa.

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