Thousands of Boda Boda Operators in Uganda Empowered in the Fight against COVID-19 through Africa Lion Advisory, a Mastercard Foundation Partnership

One of ALA Boda boda COVID-19 Training and Awareness Campaign beneficiaries waiting for passengers.
2 December 2021
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Mastercard Foundation (Africa)

Kampala, Uganda — Africa Lion Advisory (ALA), a financial advisory company based in Kenya, in partnership with the Mastercard Foundation, has empowered 3,595 boda boda operators in Uganda with information and skills to protect themselves, their customers, and communities against the spread and effects of COVID-19.

The training programme; Boda Boda COVID-19 Training and Awareness Campaign, was conducted between July and August 2021, in partnership with the Mastercard Foundation, to save the lives and livelihoods of boda boda drivers and transform them into super informers.

As part of the initiative, ALA developed a mobile USSD-based curated curriculum to provide skills training to the boda boda operators ALA also created a mobile-based educational animated video series which was shared with the drivers via WhatsApp.

The training by ALA, is part of the many initiatives that have been undertaken by the Foundation as part of the ongoing Mastercard Foundation COVID-19 Public Awareness Campaign aimed at promoting resilience and recovery among communities in Uganda.

Speaking about the programme, Hilda Wangari, the Communications Lead at Africa Lion Advisory said, “the idea and format of the training was informed by the uniqueness of the COVID-19 virus with its new variants and the urgency to share accurate information so that communities can observe the required practices and guidelines in the fight against COVID-19.”

“The Mastercard Foundation COVID-19 Public Awareness Campaign was timely and we believe has met its intended purpose of creating awareness and driving a stronger understanding and adherence to the safety protocols among the boda boda communities, not only in Uganda but the rest of East Africa,” Wangari said.

The programme has leveraged mobile technology to train the boda boda community and shift the operators from potentially contributing to increased infection rates, due to their high mobility and public contact, to becoming ambassadors of COVID-19 prevention protocols in Uganda, Kenya, and Rwanda. To date, the project has reached 12,821 boda boda operators in the region.

Commenting on the project, Wariko Waita, Head of Program Communications at the Mastercard Foundation, explained the project’s relevance at this time to address the the COVID-19 pandemic.

Boda boda COVID-19 Training and Awareness Campaign beneficiary showcasing the equipment given to them by ALA including reflector jackets, Face masks and Hand Sanitizers

“We are delighted that, through the ALA training programme, 3,535 boda operators and their families, have been empowered with accurate information to enable them to protect themselves by observing the recommended COVID-19 safety protocols,” Waita said.

Francis Asiku, a participant in the programme said that the training was extremely helpful as it enabled him to protect his passengers and family while growing his business. “I am so grateful for the ALA training, it changed my business for good. I never used to wear a mask, use sanitizers, or follow any health guidelines to protect myself and others. Now, after the programme, I follow the safety protocols. This has also served to attract more passengers,” he said. “I call upon everyone, especially my fellow riders as well as the passengers we carry, to always follow the Ministry of Health’s safety protocols to avoid contracting and spreading the virus to others,” Asiku added.

According to ALA, beyond the boda boda operators, the campaign has indirectly impacted 57,149 passengers per day in high traffic areas, such as Jinja, Lugazi, Tororo, Entebbe, and Kampala towns. 

For more information, please contact       

Hilda Wangari
Communications Lead
Africa Lion Advisory
hilda@africalionadvisory.com
+254 721 766422

Eleni Constantine White
Strategy Lead, Programme Communications
Mastercard Foundation
hwhite@mastercardfdn.org

About ALA

Africa Lion Advisory LLP (ALA), is a financial advisory company based in Kenya. We advise on several unique projects in the country and the region. For more information on ALA, please visit: www.africalionadvisory.com

About the Mastercard Foundation

The Mastercard Foundation works with visionary organizations to enable young people in Africa and in Indigenous communities in Canada to access dignified and fulfilling work.  It is one of the largest, private foundations in the world with a mission to advance learning and promote financial inclusion to create an inclusive and equitable world. The Foundation was created by Mastercard in 2006 as an independent organization with its own Board of Directors and management. For more information on the Foundation, please visit: www.mastercardfdn.org

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