By Prudence Minayo
The Automobile Association of Kenya (AA Kenya) has the best network of driving schools in different parts of the country. Their in-depth curriculum and years of experience makes the company a first choice driving school for many Kenyans. Apart from the driving school, AA Kenya promotes and safeguards the interests of motorists through a broad range of services including negotiation of appropriate insurance premiums, roadside assistance, maintenance and repair assistance.
Here is the history of AA Kenya as told by WoK.
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AA Kenya Driving School
The Driving School is the oldest in Kenya and shares its expertise with other automobile clubs in Africa. The AA training is recognized by the government, international organization and corporate private sector. They offer a number of courses for motorcyclists and drivers of saloon cars, medium trucks and public services vehicles among others. They also offer refresher driving courses. Offering competitive prices, their driving schools can be found distributed in various towns across the country including Nakuru, Eldoret, Kisumu, Kitale, Kipsongo, Kericho, Kisii, Naivasha, Nyeri and Nairobi.
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AA Kenya was founded in 1919 by Lionel Douglas Galton Fenzi as the Royal East Africa Automobile Association. Their aim was to promote and safeguard the interests of motorists and by 1925 they had about 2000 members. Unfortunately, the membership declined owing to the second world war. Today, this membership has grown to hundreds of thousands and they have branch offices in major towns countrywide.
They opened the doors to their first driving school in 1962. They started with a single Ford Anglia and in 2000 completed constructing a million dollar headquarters complete with a well equipped garage.
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At the helm of the organization is Francis Theuri who is serving as the Chief Executive Officer of AA Kenya. He is focused on the next 100 years. He wants to see the company transform from an association to a limited company trading on the Nairobi Securities Exchange (NSE).
“We realize than in 100 years, we have done very well by supporting this economy in terms of mobility, and we are looking at how much more we need to do in the next 100 years,” he was quoted by The Standard. He added that AA’s selling point was anchored on road safety as it looks to grow its 35 branches. They are targeting to expand operations to Rwanda and want to leverage technology to spearhead this growth.
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Selling the Shares
In February 2022, it was revealed that AA Kenya was selling Shares to new members at Ksh50,000. This is a bid to raise capital for expansion and transform it into a public company. This will make members future shareholders of the company upon demutualization.
“One can now register by paying a one-off fee of Sh50,000 and a discount fee of Sh40,000 for members who were in the AA register by October, 19,2021,” the association said.
They plan to use money raised for expansion plans in the next five years including venturing into the service center business in major towns, such as, Mombasa , Nairobi and Kisumu.
Profits and losses
AA has for years been a profitable business. According to Business Daily, in 2019, they recorded sales of up to Sh722 million with profits amounting to Sh79 million.
However, in 2020, they recorded a drop in sales and subsequent drop in profits. They made Sh472 million in sales and profits of Sh11 million. They cited Covid-19 as the culprit behind such a decline.
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