from MARIA MACHARIA in Nairobi, Kenya
NAIROBI – THE increased adoption of electric motorbikes by motorcycle taxi operators is poised to accelerate Kenya’s transition to a low-carbon resilient economy.
This adoption by the Boda Boda riders is also poised to enable the transition of 25 percent of the total loan portfolio to green investments by 2025.
It is an initiative by the Kenya Commercial Bank (KCB) Foundation and the United Nations Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR).
The programme involves a user acceptance test, the establishment of a lending scheme for Boda Boda riders, and providing skills training through 2Jiajiri, savings and credit co-operative society, associations, motorcycle dealers and various government departments to support the transition to clean energy.
The pilot phase will kick off in the capital Nairobi, Kajiado and Machakos counties.
It will entail 150 motorcycle riders on-boarded into the programme at a cost of approximately KSh38,7 million (US$318 327) funded by both KCB Foundation and UNITAR.
“Through the E-Mobility programme with UNITAR, we seek to make it possible for players in the transport sector to acquire electric motorbikes at an affordable rate and earn a living,” said Paul Russo KCB Chief Executive Officer.
“At the same time, the Boda Boda riders will be playing a key role in supporting low carbon emissions in the environment. This is a cause we are ready and willing to support as part of our long-term plans to conserve the environment,” Russo added.
The partnership with UNITAR is part of the multi-pronged approach by the bank to work with like-minded partners to support poverty alleviation and job creation efforts in line with the sustainable development needs.
Pius Masinde, the Conduct and Discipline Officer at the United Nations said, “This programme will promote electric mobility and ultimately contribute to the achievement of several Sustainable Development Goals (SDG).”
These include ending poverty, enhancing gender equality, providing decent work as well as affordable clean energy and driving economic growth.
According to the National Transport and Safety Authority (NTSA), there were nearly 1,9 million registered motorcycles in Kenya as of 2018.
In 2021, NTSA registered 285 203 motorcycles compared to the 186 434 registered in 2017.
The sub-sector provides more than 1 million direct jobs for riders who earn roughly less than $10 a day.
This translates to roughly KSh60 billion yearly in government revenue through taxes, levies and other charges.
– CAJ News