SafeBoda has opened a new chapter in its history, with the launch of a new training centre in Kyebando, a suburb in Kampala city.
The centre, dubbed the SafeBoda Academy, is the first of its kind in East Africa and has the capacity to train up to 1,000 boda-boda riders a week.
Their aim is to offer professional training to over 50,000 boda-boda riders in the next 12-months.
The Academy, which was officially launched recently, contains teaching space for new riders, retraining space for existing SafeBodas, support services, and new rider interviews, and is central to SafeBoda’s vision to professionalise driving standards, distribute safety equipment and enhance transparency of the boda industry.
Ricky Rappa, Co-Founder, SafeBoda said, the Academy is part of the company’s revamped sustainable program which is aimed at improving safety standards among new and existing SafeBoda riders.
“The SafeBoda Academy will go a long way in enhancing the SafeBoda customer experience, through improved quality services among our riders because they will be equipped with the best riding and customer care skills,” he said, adding that the Academy will also help reduce the number of road accidents in Uganda.
According to a report published in Sept 2017, by the Ministry of Works and Transport, at least 10 people die every day, as a result of road accidents involving boda-boda riders.
“Road accidents cost Uganda approximately 2-3% of the total GDP every year, through interventions like this Academy, together with government agencies, we are confident, this trend will be reversed,” Rapa explained.
With increased training space, he added, comes increased opportunities to train more riders and employ more young Ugandan talent.
The company, which delivers its services through the SafeBoda mobile application, has enabled over 6,000 Boda riders to increase their earnings, gain access to financial services, and improve the lives of their families and millions of passengers to travel safely around Kampala.
Dr Steven Kasiima, the Assistant Inspector General of Police, who doubled as the guest of honour, commended SafeBoda for equipping its riders with professional driving standards.
“SafeBoda riders are an example to other boda-boda riders on the street, you always see them stopping at traffic lights and this behaviour is slowly rubbing off onto the other riders,” Dr Kasiima said.
“From humble beginnings in 2015 in a small room in Kyebando, with change on our minds, we started the journey of professionalising the boda industry, and today, it gives us much pleasure to see just how many more safe trips can be taken by Kampala residents and visitors because we dared to start,” added Rapa, said.
SafeBoda is the forerunner of road safety in the region and has partnered with a number of organizations including Safe Way Right Way, the Red Cross, and the Global Road Safety Partnership – a World Bank-funded global initiative to save lives on the roads.