Find visitors' favorite businesstravel Hotels And.... Book your best!

So, Where did the Popular Uganda Boda Bodas Come From?

The name 'Boda boda' is synonymous to cycle taxis (both motorized and bicycles) in many parts of East Africa, especially Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania (in Rwanda we call them motos).

It originated from the small border town of Busia. Small traders in this Kenya-Uganda frontier town (back in the late 1980's to early 90's), needed cheap transport to ferry goods (mainly cooking oil, soaps and other consumer goods from Kenya to Uganda and second hand clothes in the opposite direction).

Motorbikes came in handy as cheap, convenient means for ferrying the business people and their wares from one border to the other, hence the name boda boda (border to border).

There are two Busias actually, on either side of the border. The difference between Busia Kenya and Busia Uganda might only be in the countries' names really, and even that does not get very far.

No town captures the essence of the need for a Federation of East Africa like Busia. Not long ago there were two Awori brothers from Busia; Moody and Aggrey, one being a senior politician on the one side of the border and another, on the other side.

Moody was the vice-president of the Republic of Kenya whilst at the same time his younger brother Aggrey was an opposition leader (and later a cabinet minister) in the Republic of Uganda. Two simple twists of faith would have given the two countries literally fraternal presidents.

That Busia border is an interesting place with fascinating business history. It is one of East Africa's busiest borders. As you come to the frontier, no matter what time, you find small-scale business people selling water, soda, juices biscuits and all and, of course, the delicious chapati and roasted chicken (the chicken is skewed in such a way that it looks crucified!).

Then there is the Rolex (nothing to do with the watch, it is an egg omelet sandwiched in a chapati).

But it is not about the wares, it is the business spirit and philosophy that catches your imagination. They come to you vibrantly and the service is quick. You don't have the country's currency? It is no problem, they are flexible, and will take the other country's cash.

The Busia border spirit has a historical perspective to it. Trade was not always so liberalised.

In fact, not too long ago there were strict rules against trade. But trade always thrived. Under the late Idi Amin, Ugandan coffee crossed the borders and was sold off in Mombasa auctions.

This magendo (smuggling) was called chepkube and it was mainly due to challenges of doing business in a war-torn environment that made Kenya a viable option. Business has always gone on here.

And it is only logical; after all, each of the countries is the other's major trading partner. Point is, in matters of business, politics needs to listen to the business sector.

If East Africa towns were to share business best practices, this small town would have a lot to teach and share. We should let the business sector, especially SMEs, and not government bureaucrats, technocrats and other honchos call the shots on matters business? The small-scale businesses 'get it'. We need to embrace the Busia border spirit.

Click here to post comments

Join in and write your own page! It's easy to do. How? Simply click here to return to Frequently Asked Questions about Automotives in Uganda.



Haven't yet found what you Want...?

If you haven't yet found what you were looking for or you need detailed information about the subject matter on this page

then...

feel free to ask our business travel consultants.





Book a Prisons & Correctional
Charity Tour


Farmland for Sale
Prime Commercial Property
Entebbe Rd Land 4 Sale
Over 20 Farmland Parcels
Property & Plots of Land

Uganda Online SuperMarket
africaug.com
Online SuperMarket

Uganda Coffee Safari
Book My Coffee Tour

Uganda Honey
Uganda HoneyComb

Subscribe to our Business Travel Newsletter


Enter Your E-mail Address
Enter Your First Name (optional)
Then

Don't worry — your e-mail address is totally secure.
I promise to use it only to send you Africa Uganda Business Travel News Digest.

Hotel Booking

Car RentalCar Hire

Africa Uganda Shipping & Handling ServicesShipping & Handling Services


Our Sponsorship Policy


Apple Guavas available
Africa Uganda Plants GuideAfrica Plants Guide

Charity Investment Guide
Changing Lives

Africa Uganda SMS Guide
Africa Bulk SMS

Poultry Investment Guide
Poultry Business Guide

Related Pages



Uganda Hotels Directory

Uganda Hotels Booking Guide


Houses U can buy Uganda Real Estate Guide Industrial/Farmland Deals

Uganda Real Estates Guide


The Mountain Gorilla

Uganda Safari Guide

Uganda Weather Today





Book My Hotel

Please note that all fields followed by an asterisk must be filled in.
YES
NO
YES
NO

Please enter the word that you see below.

  



Uganda Currency

Ex-guide