Ghanaian Entrepreneur Builds Bamboo Bicycles

Bamboo bikes 9 photos
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Ghanaian entrepreneur Bernice Dapaah is the founder of the Ghana Bamboo Bikes Initiative, probably the makers of the greenest bicycles in the world. And that is because her bikes come with wooden frames made from bamboo.
Business is growing in her hometown Kumasi, and she is providing workplaces for some 35 locals. She trained and hired 35 young men and women, and as the prospects look promising, she hopes to hire 50 more who should work in the two new workshops she plans to open in the Brong-Ahafo region.

Dapaah's bicycles retail for around $120 (€107), and this means that they are some $40 (€36) more than similar bikes with steel frames, but the reduction of greenhouse gases is around 70 percent. Even more, Dapaah's team plant ten more bamboo saplings for each tree they cut down, making sure the natural resources are not consumed mindlessly.

"It’s sustainable, durable, cheap and recyclable"

Ghana Bamboo Bikes Initiative produces seven models that range from casual city bikes to mountain bikes and even road bicycles. Both female and male versions are available, and the customization possibilities are only limited by the customers' creativity. A local artist can also be hired for adorning the bikes with traditional designs.

Speaking of customers, you'll most likely be surprised to learn that the bikes made by Bernice Dapaah are not only sold in Ghana and the adjacent countries, but are also shipped to Europe, the U.S., Israel and many other countries.

The frames are put together using mostly green components and handmade jigs, and the bikes use as few metal and plastic parts as possible. Of course, some of the high-strength components can't be made from bamboo, and traditional parts must be used. The list includes wheels, forks, bars, axles, pedals, brakes and bearings, but for the rest, Dapaah is struggling to remain eco and green.

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