The Uhuru Institute Launches Piki-Credit for Boda-Boda Cooperatives

The Uhuru Institute for Social Development, through its Freedom Fund Enterprise has launched Piki-Credit, a Boda-boda credit facility aimed at providing flexible credit facilities to Cooperatives. The loan is payable in approximately 16 months only. With an initial deposit of only 500,000 Shillings, a member of a Boda-boda Cooperative can own a motorcycle and start the journey to financial freedom. The first beneficiary of Piki-Credit is the Kampala Civic Center Boda-boda Transporters Cooperative Society (KCCBT). Established in 2013, KCCBT is one of the most properly structured Boda-boda cooperatives. The cooperative has 79 members.

The objective of Piki-Credit is to ensure holistic empowerment of the Boda-boda business community. Whereas the loan guarantees ownership of a motorbike, and therefore a source of livelihood, membership to a Cooperative Society comes with added advantages such as training in: road safety, book keeping, corporate governance, tax filing, and personal financial literacy among others. The biggest impediment to the existence of Boda-bodas is the public perception that they are perpetrators of lawlessness and high risk of accidents in the city. Therefore, trainings from Cooperatives instill in the cyclists a sense of discipline and order thereby promoting responsible Boda-boda business. More so, Cooperatives provide leadership opportunities, earnings from dividends, and bigger opportunities for business growth, among other benefits. Speaking to the leaders of KCCBT at a recent function, Leonard Okello, CEO of The Uhuru Institute had this to say, “KCCBT cyclists should expand their business beyond merely providing commuter transport services. They should explore opportunities in courier services, produce marketing, mechanical services, real estate, to take their business to the next level.”

The Boda-boda business in Kampala is lucrative. The influx of people in the city and the resultant heavy traffic has posed a challenge in transportation. People spend hours trapped in endless traffic, arriving late at their destinations. Boda-bodas motorcycles provide an efficient solution to the transport crisis because of their ability to navigate easily through traffic and access remote areas.  Boda-boda cyclists earn a decent living, on average 60,000 Shillings per day. The sector employs about 1,600,000 people, approximately 7% of Uganda’s population.

However, acquisition of the motorbikes is a challenge. Many cyclists lack the requisite collateral to acquire loans. Moreover, many of the loans attract high interest rates and come with stringent repayment policies that many cyclists cannot adhere to. The alternative is for the cyclists to rent motorcycles and pay 60,000 Shillings weekly, to the owners. This option comes with restrictions and reduces the cyclist’s income. Piki-Credit, provides a viable solution to the improvement of Boda-bodas business.

Written by Nancy Akullo

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