Close

Support Global Voices

To stay independent, free, and sustainable, our community needs the help of friends and readers like you.

Donate now »

See all those languages up there? We translate Global Voices stories to make the world's citizen media available to everyone.

Learn more about Lingua Translation  »

Senegal: Billionaire hopes auto rickshaws can create thousands of jobs

Standing in the presidential palace next to President Wade himself, Serigne Mboup, Senegalese businessman and CEO of Consortium commercial Bara Mboup (CCbm), announced yesterday a 34 billion Cfa (US$ 666 million) plan to bring Senegal 60,000 new jobs by importing tens of thousands of auto rickshaws.  

An article from Le Quotidien posted on Seneweb describes the plan:

Il s’agit de remplacer notamment les motos-taxis qui circulent à Kaolack et Fatick, par des tricycles dans lesquels les passagers sont installés de manière un peu plus confortable. L’ambition de la Ccbm et de l’Etat est que ces nouveaux moyens de transport remplacent progressivement les pousse-pousse traditionnels, tractés par la force d’homme ou tirés par la traction animale. Pour Serigne Mboup, il y a là, rien que pour Dakar, l’opportunité de «générer ou consolider 3000 emplois plus valorisants».

The plan is to replace motorcycle taxis, notably those running in Kaolack and Fatick, with auto rickshaws in which passenger can ride more comfortably.  It is the ambition of Ccbm and the government that new methods of transport will gradually replace traditional rickshaws pulled by humans or animals.  According to Serigne Mboup, in Dakar there is an opportunity to “create or strengthen 3,000 higher-paying jobs.”

Although vague on details, the article also mentioned Mboup's company would be setting up a micro-finance system, presumably to make it easier for small businesses and individual owners to purchase the rickshaws.

Not everyone is convinced blanketing the country with thousands of new, polluting vehicles is the soundest development strategy.

Le Blog politique au Senegal explains:

Ces petites cylindrées sont extrèmement polluantes, surtout celles venant d'Asie où aucune règle ne s'impose en matière de pollution. Rajouter ces engins dans le bordel des rues de dakar me parait hautement suicidaire.

These little engines are extremely polluting, especially those that come from Asia, where there are no rules regarding  pollution.  Adding these engines to the chaos of Dakar's streets seems suicidal to me.

La circulation de Dakar va empirer, les bronches de nos gamins se goudronner un peu plus pour que la géniale idée de Mr Mboup lui rapporte 4 ou 5 milliards.

Traffic in Dakar will get worse, our children's lungs will get a little blacker all so this wonderful deal can bring Mr. Mboup 4 or 5 billion.

Naomed thinks if the government were really serious about improving transportation in Dakar, it would be a much better idea to invest in a modern mass transit system.

When Senegalese newspaper, Le Quotidien, covered the story yesterday [FR], the site Seneweb was deluged with over a hundred impassioned comments.  Many were skeptical.

Dioh:

Les motos-taxis, il n'y a rien de pire dans une ville comme Dakar. Ce genre de système de transport doit être interdit. Aggravation du trafic, accidents, incivisme, pollution…

There is nothing worse than motorcycle taxis in a city like Dakar.  This type of transportation system should be forbidden.  Makes traffic, accidents, rudeness, pollution, all worse…

Laye:

…Ce projet est à saluer et à soutenir mais plus important nous devons veiller à ce qu'il ne tombe pas dans les travers de la pratique politicienne et, ce faisant, être la chasse-gardée des autorités politiques (comme il en a déjà été le cas dans un passé très récent avec REVA) au détriment des vrais demandeurs d'emploi…

This project should be welcomed and supported but more importantly, we must be vigilant that it isn't distorted by political practices and become the private cash cow of the authorities (as was the case in the very recent past with REVA) to the deteriment of those who really need work…

BOUKI

DU N'IMPORTE QUOI. C'EST UN RETOUR EN ARRIERE. QUI VA MONTER SUR CES TROTINETTES POUR ALLER SE SUICIDER? WHAT A F…K IS GOING ON? C'EST CE QUI SE PASSE QUAND DES INCOMPETANTS ET IDIOTS DIRIGENT UN PAYS.

WHAT RUBBISH.  THIS IS A STEP BACKWARDS. WHO IS GOING TO GET ON THESE SCOOTERS AND RISK SUICIDE?  WHAT A F…K IS GOING ON?  THIS IS WHAT HAPPENS WHEN INCOMPETENTS AND IDIOTS RUN A COUNTRY.

Anonymous:

Bara veut tout simplement transposer la Chine au Sénégal. Il n'a pas l'esprit creatif, il ne fait que du copié collé. Mais ce qui est valable en Chine ne l'est pas forcémént au Sénégal.

Bara simply wants to transplant China in Senegal.  He has no creative mind, he's simply copying and pasting. But what is good in China is not necessarily good for Senegal.

Still others applauded Mboup's plan as a rare expression of patriotism in a country in dire need of more investment.

boy Dakar:

Le malheure c'est que les sénégalais sont commlexés. C'est comme ça que beaucoup de secteurs de notre économie nous ont échappé. C'est le cas du commerce controlé par les libano syriens, les mauritaniens et les guinéens… ce que le jeune Mboup propose c'est ce que tout patriote doit faire. Son projet ne s'adresse pas à tous les séngégalais mais peut régler en parte le problème du chômage. Il ya des jeunes qui restent du matin au soir sans rien faire, avec ces motos ils peuvent au moins assurer les besoins courants et on verra la suite.

The sad thing is that the Senegalese have so many hang-ups.  That's why many sectors in our economy have been taken away from us.  Trade controlled by the Lebanese Syrians, the Mauritanians and the Guineans…What this young Mboup has proposed is what every patriot should do.  His project doesn't speak to all Senegalese but can solve part of the unemployment problem.  There are some young people sitting around from morning to night with nothing to do; with these motorcycles, they can at least take care of their daily needs and then we'll see.

izz:

si tous les Sénégalais riches pensaient comme le jeune Mboup,on serait loin de la souffrance.Des centaines de milliardaires Sénégalais n'investissent que sur l'immobilier ou thésaurisent leur argent dans les banques occidentales jusqu'à mourir.C'est vraiment égoiste de leur part.”pensons à s'entraider entre fréres Sénégalais” au lieu d'en faire profiter les toubabs…

If all rich Senegalese thought like Mboup, we would be far from suffering. Hundreds of Senegalese billionaires only invest in real estate or hoard their money in Western banks until they die.  It's really selfish on their part.  “Let's think of helping our Senegalese brothers” instead of enriching the toubabs [Whites]…

2 comments

  • Thiam

    I agree that an importation of such vehicles would create huge traffic problems and would not solve any of the transportation problems facing Senegal’s urban centers. Invest in a metro system! Imagine how many jobs would come of such a project! I was in a serious motorcycle accident in Dakar because a car simply decided to cut me off… and the driver of the car was just fine. These tricycles wouldn’t be any better in terms of safety!

  • […] unknown wrote an interesting post today onGlobal Voices Online » Senegal: Billionaire hopes auto rickshaws …Here’s a quick excerptHundreds of Senegalese billionaires only invest in real estate or hoard their money in Western banks until they die. It’s really selfish on their part. ”Let’s think of helping our Senegalese brothers” instead of enriching the toubabs … […]

Join the conversation

Authors, please log in »

Guidelines

  • All comments are reviewed by a moderator. Do not submit your comment more than once or it may be identified as spam.
  • Please treat others with respect. Comments containing hate speech, obscenity, and personal attacks will not be approved.

Receive great stories from around the world directly in your inbox.

Sign up to receive the best of Global Voices!

Submitted addresses will be confirmed by email, and used only to keep you up to date about Global Voices and our mission. See our Privacy Policy for details.

Newsletter powered by Mailchimp (Privacy Policy and Terms).

* = required field
Email Frequency



No thanks, show me the site