Millions of Africans are unable to reach jobs, schools, and health care because they cannot afford basic transportation. The Access Africa Project has allowed thousands of Africans the opportunity to get a better job, obtain a good education, and arrive at a health clinic in time.
Access Africa began as a partnership between ITDP, global bicycle industry leaders like TREK®, and a network of independent African bicycle dealers to make high quality, fashionable, utilitarian bicycles affordable to the African consumer. The bicycles distributed by the Access Africa program are designed specifically for use in Africa – the six-speed California Bike and the less expensive, one-speed Sahelia – so that the bikes could be maintained both locally and at a low-cost.
In addition to helping facilitate lower cost bicycles, Access Africa also began to work with the health care sector to provide bicycles to doctors, doulas and nurses. The bicycles allowed health care providers to reach more clients more quickly, while also allowing them to spend more time with patients. At the Worcester Hospice in South Africa, which provides nursing care to the terminally ill, workers on bicycles were able to cover three times the distance they did on foot, reaching 15 more patients each day. ITDP has since distributed bicycles to an array of health care organizations in South Africa, Ghana, Senegal, Tanzania and Kenya, and studied the impact the bikes had on healthcare provision.
Currently, ITDP’s Access Africa program is partnering with BEN Namibia, to empower Namibians through the provision of sustainable transport and bicycle-related income generation opportunities. For more information on BEN Namibia see their website here.