Women finding their feet in the Boda Boda Business
Written by Ntulume Nicholas on November 29, 2023
A few years ago, the Boda Boda (motorcycle) industry was seen as a men-only business. Women would only be customers seeking for Boda Boda services.
But this is fast changing. Even though the Boda Boda Industry is still dominated by men, more women have in the last 3 years joined as riders/drivers and mechanics. To frequent Boda Boda users, it is no longer surprising for a female to turn up as your Boda Boda rider or service delivery associate. Even in the garages, more women are working as mechanics.
Amina Nanteza is among the women riders operating in Kampala, having joined the business through the NFT Mobility Program.
“I was among NFT’s initial employees. They trained us from scratch. I was not familiar with smartphones, but the training propelled me into working with Uber and other companies like Jumia,” Nanteza explained.
“Currently, I can earn approximately sh450,000. This income helps me support my children, cover school fees, and rent. Moreover, I’ve been able to save and invest in two additional boda bodas, providing opportunities to two young individuals as my secondary income source.”
NFT Mobility is a company specialising in last-mile infrastructure for transport with an ultimate goal of catalyzing the creation of hundreds of direct and indirect job opportunities in the mobility industry.
In 2020, NFT Mobility received support to a tune of UGX 500 million to further advance its mobility industry efforts. The funding came from the Lead Firm Structure (LFS) program implemented by the Private Sector Foundation Uganda [PSFU] and the Mastercard Foundation.
The project generated a total of 571 direct job opportunities for young people aged between 18 to 35 years, establishing a nationwide network of riders, delivery agents and mechanics.
These include over 300 Women. All the employed women are actively contributing to various firms and earning a minimum of Sh250,000 per month, accompanied by provisional incentives such as lunch, transportation, and medical insurance, dependent on the respective firm.
Speaking at the NFT Mobility Project Stakeholders’ meeting at Skyz Hotel, Naguru, Mr Badru Ntege, director of NFT Consult said the Boda Boda ecosystem’s makes a significant contribution to the economy, representing 7% of Uganda’s gross domestic product (GDP).
“There is a pressing requirement for an ecosystem-wide conversation on effectively financing this sector. With 1.5 million young people engaging in motorcycle riding and interfacing with 7 million individuals daily, this sector’s economic significance cannot be overstated,” he said.
“We have built trust among our partners. We bought 200 boda bodas but we have only lost two among our riders. That shows the level of trust,” he said.
Further, Mr Apollo Muyanja Mbazzira, the LFS project director at PSFU, noted that this partnership offered young women and men a chance to economic transformation through the Boda Boda industry.
“Collaborating with NFT, we provided training to boda drivers, emphasising road safety protocols and facilitating their licensing requirements. We are happy to see that several young men and women have benefited from this partnership. From the testimonies made by the beneficiaries, it is clear that we now have more professional Boda Boda riders and mechanics,” he said.
Mr Mbazzira noted that NFT is just one of the over thirty-six (36) Lead Firms that have benefited from the LFS Program. Others include Yuvraj, Hot Loaf, Movit Products, Newman Foods, Ntake LTD and Mukwano Group among others.
Since its launch in 2019, the LFS program has so far mobilized 137,077 Ugandan Youth and managed to transit over 100,000 Youth into meaningful and dignified work, whilst targeting to create at least 300,000 jobs by 2025.