Our Bamboo Bike Initiative continues to build capacity and create employment opportunities for skilled and unskilled youth and women (35 jobs created: 25 bike builders and 10 farmers). It significantly contributes to reducing poverty in Ghana’s rural communities along with the value added by supporting the local bamboo bike industry. Additionally, the local government is assisted through taxes and foreign exchange that is generated through exports.
Our Initiative offers a basic course and practical lessons on building bamboo bikes as a way of encouraging entrepreneurship and providing sustainable livelihood job skills for women and youth of Ghana. Providing this training helps equip people to set up their own small-scale production base in any part of the country.
Our Bamboo Bike Academy is located on the premises of our factory and includes a 200-hour bamboo bike manufacturing and mechanics course. It teaches apprentices to manufacture, assemble and repair their bamboo bikes. This thorough knowledge helps to empower cyclists and employees, equipping them with the skills to repair and make the most of their vehicles. In addition to the mechanics, techniques on selling bike parts and accessories are provided. This training can result in jobs at local area bike shops and other bike related businesses upon completion.
Recent Update: TWO NEW FACTORIES
In our most recent initiative, we will collaborate with the Newmont Ahafo Development Foundation (NADEF), the corporate social responsibility arm of Newmont Gold Mines. We will establish two new factories at Ntrotroso and Afrisipa in Brong Ahafo Region of Ghana with the aim of creating employment opportunities for the youth in those mining communities. This will encourage a shift in the youths’ tendency to engage in illegal mining, which encroaches upon the land of the mining firm, while adding 50 new bamboo bike builders. This growth for the Ghana Bamboo Bike Initiative will help us respond to the increasing demands for bikes and frames.
Our woman-led Ghana Bamboo Bikes Initiative trains people, especially women, with little or no education in the manufacturing and assembling of bamboo bikes. Producing a sustainable, affordable and reliable form of transportation has improved the lives of many rural Ghanaians. Our bicycles are designed with local conditions in mind, built to be light and stable for rough terrain, satisfying local needs and bringing about local economic growth.
Our bamboo bikes are organic, sustainable, non-polluting and recyclable. They require significantly less electricity compared to the production of traditional metal or carbon fiber bicycles. Our bamboo bikes also help to reduce carbon emissions by up to 70 percent and avoid the almost 5 kg of CO2 emissions that steel bicycle frames would release.
Bamboo is the fastest growing canopy for the re-greening of degraded lands, providing nutrition for humans and animals, and helping to improve air and water quality by reducing carbon dioxide levels.
Additionally, the increased cultivation and use of bamboo as an alternative to wood helps preserve and rehabilitate Ghana’s dwindling forests. Its root system also greatly reduces soil erosion, which is a major concern for many farmers. As part of our scaling-up strategy, we have started establishing bamboo plantations to continue to support climate mitigation, create employment for farmers and promote the use of bamboo waste for the production of bamboo charcoal briquettes.
10 farmers have been made part of the bamboo bike building team to have additional responsibility of the bamboo plantation development and harvesting of bamboo for production.