2 Replies Latest reply on Aug 3, 2017 9:18 AM by Joseph Semuju

    Tugende (Let's Go) Transport Mobility Initiative in Uganda.

    Joseph Semuju

      Tugende (Let's Go) Transport Mobility Initiative in Uganda.

      About the problem, and the transport mobility opportunity

      In Uganda, and particularly the capital Kampala, motorcycle taxis (boda bodas) are a popular option for darting through heavy traffic jams or avoiding slow public transportation. Driving a boda boda is one of the best available jobs for young men with little education. Take home earnings are up to $5/day in a country where 65% of the population lives on less than $2/day.

      However, most of Uganda’s boda boda drivers rent their bikes indefinitely from landlords who can remove the bikes at any time. Thus job security is low and many drivers struggle to build savings and have no easy path toward financial independence. In the capital city of Kampala alone there are conservatively 100,000 boda boda drivers. There are even more drivers in smaller cities in Uganda, and in rural areas, where instead of traffic, poor roads and a lack of public transportation make motorcycles equally important to the transport economy.


      Tugende Initiative: Tugende is a Luganda word to mean Lets Go Together. Therefore, “Tugende Initiative” is “Let’s Go Initiative”.



      Its main objective is to create an opportunity through ownership by kick-starting financial independence for Ugandan motorcycle taxi drivers (boda bodas).

      Tugende provides motorcycles to recommended drivers in a lease-to-own arrangement. If paid on time, the drivers own the bike after 19 months or less. Ownership allows drivers to save money they would normally spend renting, and provides accumulated savings in the value of the paid off motorcycle. Because the weekly payments are only 15-20% higher than the market rental rate, there is little marginal cost to our clients when making weekly payments.


      Core steps in the Tugende Initiative to allow responsible boda drivers to become owners.

      1. Application & Education

           Information Session for new applicants

      Applicants for Tugende leases come primarily from existing networks of trustworthy boda boda drivers and recommendations from passengers. Potential drivers must complete a three-week course on safety, company rules and customer service.


      2. Screening & Vetting

           Vetting form verification

      Drivers that complete the education course are then thoroughly vetted through our client screening methods. These include scores of creditworthiness, in-person family visits and a pledge of support from the leader of the driver's stage (location and group with which each driver is affiliated). Our process helps identify the most trusted, responsible and committed lease recipients.


      3. Payment Collection

           Payment Receipt


      Once selected, drivers select a brand new motorcycle of their choice (primarily Bajaj Boxer) and begin making weekly payments. Our standard lease is repaid over a 19-month period with principal and interest components. All drivers have the option to repay earlier (at no penalty) thereby offering considerable potential savings in interest payments. Payments are entirely cash-less and made by drivers via mobile money or e-payment kiosk (PAY-WAY).


      4. Ownership

           Change of ownership form through Uganda Revenue Authority

      Upon completion of the lease, the title to the motorcycle is signed over to the happy driver and he begins doubling his daily take-home pay!


      The Initiative comes with below impacts.

      When drivers own their motorcycles and stop renting, their profits double.

      But ownership is more than that. It creates the job security of knowing your tool for earning a living and helping your family is yours to keep. It allows for better savings and puts your future in your own hands, not a landlord's.


      laurence Ullmann

      Jerry Rawlings Mbabali

      Charlette N'Guessan Désirée N'Guessan


      Link1: Tugende: Drive to Own