To Ban Or Not To Ban Boda-Boda

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It is called a different name in different countries. From “Boda Boda“ to   “Okada,“ motorcycle taxis which are present throughout Africa and beyond, means a different thing to different people. Definitely, in many African countries where jobs are not easy to come by, boda boda can provide needed job opportunities and incomes for entrepreneurial young men who lack skills, hence creating positive financial impacts in the lives of these young men and their families.

While some value and praise Boda Boda for providing alternative cheap means of transportation, others distaste it for causing unnecessary heavy accidents and endangering the lives of innocent users. Yet, to others, motorcycle taxis are just a major environmental nuisance and air polluters.

Recently, many law enforcement agents have been using Boda Boda operators as informants. By being available virtually 24 hours in many places, motorcycle taxis operators see, more or less, what many of us cannot see ““ especially, at night. Sadly others see Okada taxis as just the opposite; some believe they connive with criminals to commit crimes. Another group even goes to the extent of accusing many boda boda operators of being criminals themselves. It is therefore, no wonder that some governments are in fact, considering banning boda boda altogether.

Should boda boda be banned? Is the restriction a good step in the right direction? Or will the proposed prohibition be counterproductive? Will the ban send millions of youths into the unemployment abyss and create room for high rate of criminality, after all, an ideal mind, they say, is the devil`s workshop? What is the way out?

Should boda boda be banned in Africa and if yes / no why?