Why not just buy bikes from, say, China?

Some organisations take this approach, but we choose not to for a few reasons. Generally the bikes from China that are available in Africa are of very poor quality, and our partners would rather have good quality used bikes and spare parts than make do with something which may break very quickly. We've got a very detailed explanation of what's wrong with Chinese Bikes. One must also consider that many Africans can barely afford to feed themselves let alone buy a bicycle. It is also important to remember that reusing bikes saves on the environmental costs of manufacture and disposal.