Thirty people made up of students, education and health workers faced with transportation challenges have received free made in Ghana bamboo bikes.
The donors, African Bicycle Contribution Foundation (ABCF), a US-based non-profit corporation, has made a commitment to finance the free distribution of 2,500 bicycles in its first five years of operation.
“I’m happy because the bicycle will help me to come to school early and if I come to school early, I’ll find some time to study,” Raheena Abdul-Azeez, a junior high school student who commutes long distance to school daily told TV3.
The ABCF is passionate about empowering people in need and has a mission to generate funding to underwrite the distribution of bicycles to needy students, families and transport-dependent smallholder farmers, health workers and others on the African continent.
Chairman of the Foundation, A. Bruce Crawley, said the free distribution of the bamboo bikes to under-resourced populations in Ghana is just the first stage of their programme in the country
“In addition, we want to orchestrate technology-facilitated, inter-continental workshops and seminars between students and entrepreneurs in Ghana and their counterparts in the U.S,” he said.
At one of the events to distribute the bicycles, former President John Kufuor who was at the event said: “Support of this kind is seen as a major driver of equitable social development and gender mainstreaming, while narrowing the wide economic gap”.
The events were hosted by Bright Generation Community Foundation (BGCF) and the Ghana Bamboo Bike Initiative (GBBI), a Kumasi-based manufacturer of the “EcoRide” bamboo bicycles.
The ABCF was represented by Executive Director, Patricia Marshall Harris and ABCF board member, Florence Torson-Hart, a Ghanaian-born senior financial advisor with Merrill Lynch in the U.S.
Other partners include Values For Life, The Respect Alliance, VillageBicycle Project and the U.S.-Ghana Chamber of Commerce.
Bernice Dapaah, CEO and founder of GBBI, said the partnership will not only help meet the transportation needs of rural economies, but create jobs and sustain livelihoods.
“We’re so happy because when they buy the bicycles from us, we’re going to create a lot of employment for the youth. The more we’re able to sell, the more we’re able to produce and we’re also happy that the bicycles that they’re buying are being donated to school children who walk miles to go to school,” he stated.
The Foundation also wants to facilitate the establishment of new trade channels in the U.S to expand the company’s size and workforce, and its capacity for export around the world.
By Kofi Adu Domfeh|TV3|3news.com|Ghana