The boda boda sector is a multi-billion industry that has provided jobs to many youth. The Boda Boda enterprises rake in millions of shillings daily. However, the sector is known for all the wrong reasons. The riders are known to be rowdy, disorderly, impatient and always in hurry as they do not follow traffic rules and often cause accidents. In addition, the motor bikes are often used by robbers to carryout crime especially in cities. The other characteristics of this trade is the fact that it is mostly male dominated, most of the riders do not own the motor bikes and most of the riders again do not have riding licenses.
Africa Initiative for Rural Development (AiRD) is keen to change this situation and make boda boda enterprises sustainable. Through an initiative dubbed Bikes4Youth, AiRD seeks to address the challenges noted above. The project seeks to achieve three key objectives. First, the project seeks to enhance the boda boda operators’ skills in business management through training them on entrepreneurship. Secondly, the project trains the riders on road safety ensuring that they understand the importance of proper road use to self and other road users and lastly, the project strives to support the youth to access and own the motor bikes thus beginning to own productive assets.
To ensure success of this project, AiRD has partnered with NTSA (to facilitate training on road safety component), Bajaj Auto – the manufacturers of Boxer motor bikes (to offer the equipment/bikes to youth) while our roles remains largely that of skills development in entrepreneurship and mentorship of the emerging entrepreneurs to success!
AiRD plans to have 100 youth benefiting from this initiative in 2016, with a similar number in 2017. The only challenge experienced so far is the fact that this is a capital intensive venture and the fact that no one wants to trust youth. At AiRD we believe in Youth and are ready to rewrite the narrative that youth cannot be trusted. We have already facilitated 20 youth to access bikes through this initiative all drawn from the informal settlements of Kibera. All the 20 youth dreams of owning bikes are now true! Talk of sustainable development and I believe this is the right path. The life of the 20 youth has been transformed as each one of them is able to generate 1,000 shillings in a day translating to an income of over 30,000 in a month.