In Africa, bicycles play an essential role in supporting entrepreneurism and income generation.
Basic transport improves employment prospects, reduces the time and money spent travelling to work, enhances productivity for families and small-scale enterprise and gives people better access to markets for trading.
To find out more about how a bicycle can transform lives, sign up to receive stories and updates from Re~Cycle.
Get stories in your inbox
The need for bicycles in Africa
Transport and development go hand-in-hand. Virtually everything traded, must be transported, and almost everyone needs wheels to get to work or school. Simple, affordable transport generates income opportunities in developing countries, as well as saving lots of time and back-breaking work.
In Britain, millions of bikes are thrown away or lie unused in sheds, whilst many people in Africa have no access to transport of any kind. People spend hours each day walking to collect water, firewood or to access health care, school and employment. A bicycle lightens this burden and dramatically improves their wellbeing as well as work and education opportunities helping to bring social change. A bicycle cuts travel time to a fraction and can carry passengers and heavy loads. Bikes give families the extra time to earn, learn and enjoy life.
Another container of bikes has reached our partners Village Bicycle Project in Ghana! Bikes from this container will be loaded for One-Day workshop programmes in Karimenga (Upper East Region) and Nsuta (Brong-Ahafo Region). VBP’s One-Day workshop is a day-long hands-on preventative maintenance course, aimed at preparing new bicycle owners with skills/knowledge to know when their bicycle is experiencing a problem; how to fix it or seek professional assistance early on.
This will be the team’s second trip to Karimenga - first visiting in April 2015 with 60 bicycles. Due to the success of that programme, the team are returning with 120 bicycles. This will be VBP’s first time hosting workshops in Nsuta, however, they have hosted a Learn-2-Ride programme there - teaching 101 girls to ride in 3 weeks. It’s hoped that many of these new riders will attend the workshop.
Saturday 25th July 2015 - 9am – 1pm
Roughly 1-2% of the bikes donated to Re~Cycle are either unsuitable for Africa (such as thin framed racing bikes) or are bikes with disc brakes which are parts that are not readily available in Africa and thus less likely to be usable. Instead of recycling these bikes we sell them at the local University of Essex and our warehouse in Colchester, generating a sustainable income to help cover our running costs. These bikes are sold at affordable prices starting at £75 and many of these bikes are sold to students or people just starting out as cyclists and therefore looking for a good bargain.