Boda boda are motorcycle taxis commonly found in East Africa. While motorcycle taxis like boda bodas are present throughout Africa and beyond, the term boda boda is specific to East Africa. Their ubiquitous presence in East African cities is the result of a number of factors including an increasing demand for public transit, the ability to purchase motorcycles on credit, and an influx of cheap imports from Indian manufacturers like Bajaj. In the countries where they are present, boda boda can provide vital job opportunities for entrepreneurial young men who lack skills lifting their incomes and brightening their lives while at the same time resulting in an increase in road accidents and unnecessary deaths.
The term boda boda may come from the English words shouted by their drivers: "border, border". That said, a BBC journalist initially imagined its origin to be onomatopoeia. Providing context, some credit the boda boda with an apocryphal ability to transport people across a border without a need to complete the paperwork using a motor vehicle would necessitate.
An Uber-style ride-hailing app for motorcycle taxis, SafeBoda was founded in late 2014, and, as of 2015, restricted its operations to Kampala, Uganda. It provides training and helmets to drivers who access fares through its app. The smartphones carried by drivers can collect braking data allowing the firm to rank operators' safety, and a routing system that relies more on landmarks than maps helps ensure only those who possess thorough local knowledge will attempt to pick up a potential fare.
Number in operation
In 2013, one source claims 300,000 were operating in Kampala, Uganda. Data from the Kampala Capital City Authority show 120,000 registered motorcycles in the city around the same time although the number of boda boda could be higher as some are unregistered according to a representative of the Kampala Boda-boda Riders Association. The same source indicated in 2015 that around 40,000 were operating in central Kampala. Another knowledgeable source suggested in 2015 that the true figure is closer to double that number. 
- Dar es Salaam
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In Uganda, they are known as boda bodas...
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