Cycling into the future with Africa’s sun
Since solar energy is available in most African countries and is, above all, cost-effective, EURIST’s partners in the South (SunCycles Namibia & FABIO) are convinced that e-bikes powered by green energy can become a foundation for new African everyday
EURIST e.V. has been supporting its African partner organisations in improving conditions for cyclists – and those who would like to become cyclists. This has been in the form of a bicycle taxi, as a cargo bike or for transporting goods to sell on the local market or as an ambulance for better access to medical facilities.
EURIST E-Bikes have been on the road in Uganda in a pilot phase. They have travelled over 20000 km with the energy of the African sun – and made everyday life easier for many people. The results are clear: the E-Bike is an allrounder. An E-Bike increases the radius of action and increases the loading volume. It is finally a fast and comfortable means of transport for poorer people and offers completely new (emission-free!) “possible applications” – at low costs and often with more income for the users.
For over a decade now, FABIO (First African Bicycle Information Organisation) has been our project partner in Uganda. Katesi Najiba, Director of FABIO, summarises the pilot phase as follows:
“The people were totally thrilled. There was a lot of excitement right from the start and everyone wanted to be there. Even motorcycle taxi drivers are enormously interested because they can own the bicycles themselves instead of borrowing the motorbikes for their jobs. “
The first project phase ended in January 2019. “It was an absolute success, no question! But it can only be the beginning , says Patrick Kayemba, Director of EURIST Africa.
The German Actor, Bjarne Mädel, was able to form his own impression in spring 2019 – more about his impressions can be seen in the documentary film :
What are the further plans? – The E-Bike Service Center
E-Bike service centers are to be established in several regions With its initially planned 30 E-Bikes, each center will also include a bike-sharing station to generate revenue for employees. The service centers will offer E-Bike ambulances, e-cargo bikes and E-Bike taxis. A special “water bike” will make it easier for women fulfill their daily chores and significantly improve their access to clean water.
A solar panel on the roof or electricity from a local hydropower plant is used to recharge the batteries, and will also provide electricity for a router. Publicly accessible, free Internet will increase the attractiveness of the Mobility Center and turn it into a social meeting place – as well as the bike repair and battery exchange service.
“Continuing the project in this way would be groundbreaking,” says Katesi
Najiba. “A new mobility culture could develop through the rental station, perhaps it will set a precedent and at some point the whole of Africa will ride an E-Bike”.
In fact, the new E-Bike Service Center could not only lead to a new market for EBikes in Africa, but could also interest development organizations. Until then, however, there is still a lot to be done:
As a non-profit organization, one is largely dependent on partners and donations. The pilot was supported by the Rotary Club Hamburg-Bergedorf.
Now it is a matter of seeking support from the bicycle industry and applying for funds from development organisations as well as making the project known throughout Africa.
The United Nations (UNEP) wants to support EURIST and FABIO.
Bjarne Mädel (a German Actor) and Jörg Pilawa (a German Moderator) as well as Germany’s former Transport Minister Kurt Bodewig are prominent project sponsors.
And in Africa Patrick Kayemba says: „ “Everyone who hears about the project here in Uganda is fascinated, including the German Embassy in Kampala!”“
Support us and our partners in Africa in introducing this new, great and progressive means of transport.Deutschlands