Safeboda to Exit Kenya from November 27

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By Adedapo Adesanya

Ugandan ride-hailing startup, SafeBoda, has announced its intentions to terminate operations in Kenya from Friday, November 27, 2020.

In a statement via its official Twitter handle, the company announced that it would cease operations in the East African country due to the COVID-19 (coronavirus ) pandemic.

The startup, which launched in Kenya’s capital in 2018, stated that while Nairobi has gradually started to recover from the pandemic, boda transportation has been hit hard.

According to Safeboda, “This has meant our business cannot sustainably operate in this environment and unfortunately the timeline for a full recovery is not certain.”

During its 2 years of operations, SafeBoda onboarded over 4,000 riders who have successfully completed millions of trips. However, this latest move will see thousands of its boda riders and call centre operators thrown into the unemployment market.

The exit is also likely to affect the cost of business operations-particularly for small and medium scale enterprises who have so far benefitted from its presence.

The year 2020 has been rocky for many economies globally and African countries like Kenya have suffered a heavy blow. Unemployment rates in the East African country increased to 10.4 per cent in the second quarter of 2020 from 5.20 per cent in the first quarter due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Within the past five years, jobs in Kenya’s non-agricultural sector have grown significantly, even though agriculture remains the largest employer of labour.

According to a report, the country’s ICT sector has been estimated to contribute up to 8 per cent to its gross domestic product through IT-enabled services (ITES) and create 250,000 jobs by the end of 2020, now analysts see these figures drastically reducing.

SafeBoda is a community of entrepreneurs and boda drivers that is revolutionizing transportation, payments, and on-demand services in Africa’s cities and believes that everyone in African cities should have access to affordable services at a click of a button.

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