By John Kariuki
KCB Foundation and the United Nations Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR) have partnered to promote the use of electric motorbikes by Boda Boda riders in Kenya.
This is an effort towards accelerating the transition to a low-carbon resilient economy and enable the transition of 25% of the total loan portfolio to green investments by 2025, as part of the KCB Net Zero ambition.
The programme involves a user acceptance test, the establishment of a lending scheme for Boda Boda riders, and providing skills training through 2Jiajiri, SACCOs, Associations, motorcycle dealers, and various government departments to support the transition to clean energy.
The pilot phase will kick off in Nairobi, Kajiado and Machakos counties, and will see of 150 motorcycle riders onboarded into the programme at a cost of approximately KES. 38.7 million funded by both KCB Foundation and UNITAR.
Speaking at the event, KCB CEO Paul Russo noted that 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.
“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. 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 said.
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) such as 1: End Poverty, 5: Gender Equality, 7: Affordable and Clean energy, 8: Decent work and Economic growth, 13:
Climate Action and 16: Peace, Justice and Strong institutions. We look forward to upscaling the programme in 2023.”
According to the National Transport and Safety Authority, 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 one million direct jobs for riders who earn roughly less than US$10 a day. This translates to roughly Ksh60 billion yearly in government revenue through taxes, levies and other charges.