Co-operative Bank Foundation has partnered with the German Development Cooperation (GIZ) to enhance the employment and business growth for 3,000 boda boda riders.
In a statement on Friday, July 23, the foundation noted that the partnership will offer riders support in business skills, digital tools to run their business and more importantly, 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, the Co-op Bank Foundation will be engaging the boda boda riders through their associations and groups, and also owners of motorcycle fleets, women who run boda boda businesses and riders who operate electric and solar-powered motor bikes.
Other key project partners offering support to the project include; the National Transport and Safety Authority (NTSA) to provide training on road safety and compliance, SAFAL MRM Group Foundation to mobilise the riders for training, Mark Holdings Limited for providing service facility for the motorbikes, and Co-op Bank Bancassurance to provide insurance and training, mainly on benefits of insurance and risk mitigation.
The Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH is already implementing the project under the Employment and Skills for Development in Africa (E4D) programme.
Speaking after finalising the partnership, the GIZ Country Director Mr. Bodo Immink, lauded the project as a key milestone towards increasing job opportunities in the sector, saying;
“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,” stated Mr Immink.
On her part, Head of the Co-op Bank Foundation Dora Waruiru praised the partnership as a long-overdue intervention to mitigate the huge challenges of the otherwise promising boda boda sector.
“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. It is, therefore, a great honour for us to partner with GIZ, NTSA and others to support Boda Boda riders run their business in a safe and profitable fashion,” noted Waruiru.
It is estimated that the overall number of unemployed youths will double between the years 2010 and 2035. As it stands today, over 75% of the country’s population is aged 35 years and below.
The World Bank estimates that approximately 800,000 Kenyans join the labour market each year and only 50,000 succeed in getting professional jobs.
Other partners in the endeavor include Employment and skills for Development in Africa (E4D), National Transport and Safety Authority (NTSA), The Safal MRM Foundation, Co-op Bank Bancassurance and Mark Holdings Limited.