Over 3,000 youths operating the Boda Boda business in Kenya are set to benefit from a partnership between the Co-operative Bank Foundation and the German Development Cooperation (GIZ).
The partnership, which aims at enhancing employment and business growth for the youth will provide support in terms of business skills and digital tools to run their business.
More importantly, it will emphasize road safety to reduce the high rate of accidents and loss of lives involving Boda Boda riders across the country.
The project will be first implemented in the Coast, Eastern, and Central regions of Kenya, after which it will be rolled out to other parts of the country.
To kick off the project going, the Co-op Bank Foundation will be engaging the Boda Boda riders through their associations and groups, and owners of motorcycle fleets, women who run Boda Boda businesses, and riders who operate electric and solar-powered motorbikes.
Through the partnership, the National Transport and Safety Authority (NTSA) will provide support by providing training on road safety and compliance whereas SAFAL MRM Group Foundation will mobilize the riders for training.
Mark Holdings Limited will provide a service facility for the motorbikes, and Co-op Bank Bancassurance will ensure that the riders get insurance and training, mainly on benefits of insurance and risk mitigation.
According to GIZ Country Director Mr. Bodo Immink, the project is a key milestone towards increasing job opportunities in the sector. The organization is implementing the project under the Employment and Skills for Development in Africa (E4D) program.
“Initiating and supporting sustainable development is what we do every day together with our partners. With this project we are setting the stage for urban and sustainable mobility,” said Mr. Immink.
“The Boda Boda sector has emerged rapidly to become a great opportunity for creating jobs and incomes especially for young people but has come with huge challenges not least of which is the unacceptably high rate of accidents and loss of lives. This partnership along with the implementing partners will provide maximum support for Boda Boda riders to ensure that they run their business safely and profitably,” concluded Co-op Bank Foundation’s head, Dora Waruiru.
The partnership is long overdue, particularly in a country youth unemployment presents a challenge to its development agenda. The World Bank estimates that approximately 800,000 Kenyans join the labor market each year and only 50,000 succeed in getting professional jobs.
There is an urgent need for intervention to reduce the rate of unemployment regardless of the current population trends.
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