Boda boda riders profit from economic empowerment forum

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Over 200 motorcycle riders benefited from a forum on financial management, customer service and business management held in Thika.

The forum that was a joint collaboration between the Traffic Police Department, Kenya Revenue Authority and Zetech University sought to empower boda boda riders in Witeithie Ward following a study that revealed that nine out of 10 motorcycle riders in Kenya are commercial riders.

The study conducted by Car and General, a local motorcycle sales company showed that the boda boda transport sector creates one million direct jobs for riders making an average income of Sh1 billion daily, which translates to Sh365 billion annually, that equates to 3.4 per cent of Kenya’s GDP.

“The boda boda industry is a key driver of the Kenyan economy and cannot be ignored. Transport plays a significant role in the development of the economy and the boda boda sector has become deeply entrenched as a source of employment and livelihood for many. They have become a popular means of transport for many rural and urban dwellers and have evolved into an informal sector of the transport industry,” said Prof. Alice Njuguna, Deputy Vice Chancellor Zetech University

“With the rising popularity of their services, we saw it fit to hold a forum where we could invite the riders through their registered saccos and impart skills on managing their personal finances, and instill knowledge on other factors that go along with their business such as customer service,” she said.

Speaking to KNA, Francis Kariuki, a boda boda rider representing Kiwima Sacco said he found the exercise to be extremely helpful.

“I have been operating this business for over three years now and this is the first exercise that has ever considered our contribution to the economy. I have learnt so much especially on managing my daily income and how to talk to my customers and prioritize their needs and safety. I look forward to more forums like these in the future,” he said.

Traffic police who were also at the event prompted the riders to observe traffic rules and regulations such as wearing of helmets for both riders and passengers, observing traffic lights and other traffic rules.

The riders were reminded of the consequences of contravening the regulations whose penalty includes a fine not exceeding Sh20, 000 or imprisonment for a term not exceeding six months or both.

By Hellen Lunalo

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