Introducing our new project ‘Green Hub Kampala – E-mobility ecosystem for climate change mitigation and improved livelihoods’
Access2innovation is excited to present our new project, ‘Green Hub Kampala – E-mobility ecosystem for climate change mitigation and improved livelihoods’, developed together with KJAER GROUP, and Nexus Green Ltd and funded by the Danish Ministry of Foreign Affairs through the Danida Green Business Partnerships (DGBP) program.
In Uganda, where the transport sector generates high greenhouse gas emissions and air pollution, this project will recycle old bodas (taxi motorcycles) and replace them with e-bodas powered by solar energy. This innovative pilot project encompasses an ecosystem consisting of six value chains, including material recycling (led by an all women workforce), e-boda distribution with asset financing, charging infrastructure, renewable energy generation, and digital support services.
The project sets out to transform the commercial boda industry, one of Uganda’s largest informal employment sectors. It aims to increase incomes for drivers, provide safer working conditions, promote sustainable waste management, and initiate the transition to a green transport sector. Furthermore, it will explore a safer inclusion of women in the boda industry.
Key impacts include renewable energy production, significant CO2 and air pollution reductions, and creation of green livelihoods for women and youth, including increased income for boda drivers.
Background: A transports sector on black fuel
Uganda’s transport sector almost entirely runs on imported non-renewable energy. This causes alarming rates of greenhouse gas emissions and air pollution with more than 150,000 bodas in Kampala and each boda releasing on average 5.7 kg of CO2 per day. The transport sector is thus heavily contributing to climate change and is causing a health hazard with 28,000 Ugandans dying annually because of air pollution.
In April 2023, the government of Uganda finalized their Strategy for the Transition to E-mobility with the mission to provide an enabling environment for e-mobility ecosystems in Uganda. Our new e-mobility project is tapping into this new strategy.
Boda-drivers in Uganda
The project will – among other things – increase income & livelihood opportunities for women & youth in the e-mobility sector in Kampala, Uganda. Commercial boda driving is one of the biggest sources of informal employment amongst young men from poor households.
Yet the boda drivers remain in poverty. A majority of the drivers enter into unfavorable loans to purchase the boda. This combined with rising fuel prices (increase of 50 % between 2021 and 2022) leaves them with small profit margins – boda drivers on average make 6.5 dollars in profit per day. Thus, the potential for the e-boda market is huge as the value proposition includes offering a lower total cost of ownership and increased profit for boda drivers. However, there is currently only around 300 e-bodas on the road as there has so far only been a number of small start-ups.
Due to societal barriers, women today are fully excluded from the sector and thus robbed from the opportunity to utilize the industry as a livelihood. Youth and women living in urban areas are further the most under-employed groups in the country.
In the pilot project, more than 60 boda drivers in Kampala will experience an expected 26% increase in profit from transitioning to e-bodas. Women will be particularly targeted as drivers and engaged in development of the broader ecosystem.
Gathered data and experience will facilitate lessons learning and the validation of the business case for the commercial partners and the boda drivers in the e-mobility ecosystem. The project will function as a proof of concept for scaling the project to 100,000 e-bodas by the end of 2026.
The key partners to the project and driving forces behind the Green Hub Kampala are:
Kjaer Group was established as a car dealership in Svendborg, Denmark in 1962. Today the company provides automotive mobility globally in more than 70 countries and employs around 400 people. Kjaer Group holds a leading position within its business area in Mozambique and Uganda where it owns and operates distributions, fully owned workshops and service facilities under the name of MOTORCARE. Globally, Kjaer Group also deliver vehicles, motorcycles, parts, accessories, insurances and finance solutions to customers in the international aid and development sector (NGOs, the UN, the EU etc).
Nexus Green Limited is an innovative international solar energy company that specializes in designing, supplying, manufacturing, and delivering affordable solar-powered solutions that reduce carbon emissions and provide cheaper cleaner energy. Their ambition is to contribute to a more sustainable future by bringing solar energy to industries, businesses, communities, farming and homes across Africa. Nexus Green Limited UK started operations in Uganda in 2016 and later opened their subsidiary company in Uganda in 2021. The local company has grown to become the biggest solar company in Uganda and implements several government and development projects focusing on solar irrigation systems, solar street lighting, and solar and battery storage.