Training bodaboda operators key to streamlining the sector

In Kenya, bodabodas have become more than just a means of transportation and have evolved into the unsung heroes of our communities.

Beyond ferrying passengers from one point to another, they play a vital role in delivering goods, they contribute significantly to the economy and serve as a source of livelihood to many. 

Bodabodas provide a source of employment to thousands of Kenyans, especially the youth, who may not have formal education or job opportunities.

According to a report by the World Bank, the boda boda industry in Kenya employs an estimated 1.5 million people and contributes about $1.8 billion (Sh202 billion) to the economy annually. 

The enormity of the industry is demonstrated by its fuel consumption, which is estimated to be worth an astounding Sh1 billion.

By investing in the training of operators, we can ensure a safer and more orderly sector. This not only maximises the economic impact of the sector but also significantly contributes to the nation’s overall revenue. 

Bodaboda operations have expanded beyond being just a means of transportation. They have now transformed into legitimate businesses that generate income for their operators. According to the Kenya National Bureau of Statistics, over 1.2 million motorcycles were registered in Kenya in 2020, with a significant portion of them being used for commercial purposes.

However, there is still a gap when it comes to registration, regulation, monitoring, and the use of boda bodas as public service vehicle transport. This gap is a major cause for concern. Professional training can instil a business mindset in the operators, emphasising the importance of professionalism, customer service, and adherence to industry standards.

This can lead to increased profitability and financial stability for the operators. Training programmes elevate the professionalism of operators, attracting more people to join the sector, thereby creating additional job opportunities, and contributing to the reduction of unemployment rates.

Proper training enhances their ability to handle various types of cargo, making them even more valuable to the delivery world. 

Beyond riding skills, training programs emphasise the importance of forming self-help groups among the boda boda operators.

These groups not only promote a sense of community but also encourage savings and financial discipline, fostering personal development within the boda boda community. This supports the living standards among the operators. 

National Transport and Safety Authority (NTSA) statistics reveal a sobering truth - lives lost and multiple injuries resulting from road accidents involving boda bodas.

The NTSA ranked motorcycles among the most dangerous modes of transport in 2023. According to data, bodabodas contributed to the high number of fatalities in 2022 recording 631 and 555 fatalities in 2023. 

Therefore, there is a need for professional training as a proactive step towards reducing accidents, minimising the societal and economic impact on affected families, and fostering a safer transportation environment. 

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