Patrick Nsenga Buchana is the CEO of AC Group Ltd, a company based in Kigali, which provides smart solutions for public transport in Kigali, Yaoundé, Douala and soon in Accra.
It is in order to combat payment fraud (which caused public transport operators to lose 30% of their income in Kigali) that Patrick Nsenga Buchana implemented the “Tap & Go” solution. This system of card payment in public transport has been operational since December 2015. In the Rwandan capital, customers of public buses no longer need to have “cash” to pay for their trip. By allowing the automation of payment in public transport, the “Tap & Go” system thus allows real tracing of incoming money and facilitates revenue collection for bus operators. After three years of activity, explains Patrick Buchana, his company AC Group Ltd, supplier of smart card solutions in Rwanda, was able to digitize public transport payments and enabled bus operators in Kigali to recover nearly 30 % of their income, reduce bus accidents by 70% and significantly reduce delays. This innovation in the public transport sector in Kigali took place in consultation with transport operators as well as with the government. “The solution we provide is not the first of its kind in the world, but we have tried to adapt it to our local market”, explains the CEO of AC Group Ltd who is currently following an “Executive Program” at Stanford Graduate School of Business, the most selective Business School in the United States, particularly recognized for its excellence and capacity for innovation.
Develop a modern urban transport system
Patrick Nsenga Buchana, the entrepreneur who digitizes payment in public transport
Innovation is the hallmark of AC Group Ltd which also provides intelligent transport applications for conferences and events like the World Economic Forum, for the African Union as well as the governments of Rwanda and Cameroon. The company also advises governments on how to develop a modern urban transport system. Outside Kigali, AC Group Ltd, made up of a team of 120 people, is also present in Douala and Yaoundé. “We are present in these cities because of their clear desire to build a modern transport system,” explains Patrick Nsenga Buchana, indicating that nearly a million people currently use the “Tap & Go” system. In Cameroon, Célestin Tsambou Hermann, Managing Director of the Yaoundé Transport and Collective Equipment Company (STECY), a new public transport company, is delighted with the partnership established with AC Group Ltd. “The user saves time with a secure system that will allow them to better budget for their monthly travel costs. By halving travel time, rush hour will be smoother as adaptation grows. Regulators will have accurate data on commuters. These are essential for making informed decisions, ”explains the CEO of STECY.
Connect over 100 million people
However, despite the rapid progress of the “Tap & Go” product, Patrick Nsenga Buchana recognizes that it is not easy to change the mentalities of customers used to paying in cash and leading them to use debit cards. “Some cities are not yet well prepared to adopt this system, but we plan to expand our network in all African cities to change things,” said the ambitious entrepreneur. The latter is the winner of numerous awards in ICT and he also sits on the board of directors of the Chamber of ICT of the Private Sector Federation (PSF) in Rwanda, on the “Invest in Africa” committee based in Côte d’Ivoire as well. and the board of directors of KLab, an innovation center dedicated to information and communication technologies in Kigali.
Through his company, Patrick Nsenga Buchana aims to design and create systems that connect people and businesses by harnessing the power of innovation to transform cities. “In the long term we want to connect more than 100 million people to a reliable transport system, with digital payments at a time when smart cities are a reality in many developing countries”, it is necessary to know.