E-Cargo Bikes Could Accelerate Decarbonization with Made in Ghana and Provide Economic Opportunities
A new program in Ghana called “Made In Ghana” aims to provide charging infrastructure and sustainable transport options to the Ghanese people.
A World Problem Demands Change Worldwide
Climate change is a worldwide issue that needs to be addressed by everyone; however, the means to do so are often not divided equally.
Nations in the global north have the privilege of worrying about climate change due to the majority of their population not struggling with poverty. This is one of the problems with creating a truly global environmental movement because if you’re struggling to feed yourself and your children, why would you care about other problems outside your control?
This is where NGOs and certain companies can greatly help developing countries. Some organizations can help raise awareness, and others can provide economic opportunities while engaging in sustainable practices.
This is happening with Made in Ghana, where Siemens Stiftung and Impact Hub Accra work together to create the infrastructure and opportunities for sustainable cargo transport, specifically with e-bikes.
Domestic Production, Domestic Benefits
One of the issues with bringing sustainable transport solutions to Ghana and other developing countries is that many of these vehicles are being imported into the country. Of course, imports are crucially important to any nation’s economy, but to provide opportunities for long-term economic growth, goods and services must be produced domestically.
Siemens, the international conglomerate specializing in technological goods, has been working on a project like this called the “Made in Ghana” project. It is funded in part by the German government’s International Climate Initiative.
Made in Ghana works with Impact Hub Accra, a social entrepreneurship and innovation center, to create charging infrastructure, test business models, and bring relevant stakeholders to create e-mobility solutions in the area.
One program within Made in Ghana included a “Design Sprint” workshop with students, graduates, and e-mobility enthusiasts to generate new ideas. Eight winners of this program have joined the Impact Hub Accra team to work for 12 months to develop their skills and capabilities and to prepare themselves for the practical implementation of their electric transportation solutions.
The Made in Ghana e-bike project aims to promote the use of electric cargo bikes in Ghana by establishing a local production and maintenance hub. Siemens Stiftung is providing technical expertise and financial support to the project, as well as helping to build partnerships with local stakeholders.
The project has three main objectives:
- To test a business model for e-cargo bikes that fits the mobility needs of the Ghanaian people.
- To establish a sustainable and local value chain for producing, operating, and maintaining e-cargo bikes.
- To create green jobs and training opportunities in the e-mobility sector.
The project is currently in its pilot phase, and it is expected to be completed in 2025. If successful, the project could be replicated in other countries in Africa and around the world.
Here are some of the specific ways in which Siemens Stiftung is contributing to the project:
- Providing technical expertise on the design, production, and maintenance of e-cargo bikes.
- Financing the purchase of equipment and materials for the production hub.
- Providing training to local entrepreneurs and technicians on how to build and maintain e-cargo bikes.
- Helping to build partnerships with local government agencies, businesses, and non-governmental organizations.
Siemens Stiftung believes that the “e-Cargo Bikes Made in Ghana” project has the potential to make a significant contribution to the country’s sustainable development goals. By promoting the use of e-cargo bikes, the project can help to reduce air pollution, improve traffic congestion, and create green jobs. Additionally, the project can help to empower women and youth by providing them with opportunities to learn new skills and start their own businesses.
See also: Solving the Banana Waste Problem in Uganda.
Profit and Climate Solutions can be Linked
One of the areas that are most important with regard to environmentalism is providing economic opportunities.
In many developing countries, resource extraction and degradation of the environment are what have allowed them to put food on the table. When a foreigner comes in saying that environmentalism is what’s most important now, it can leave a bad taste in the mouth without jobs coming behind those words.
However, economic growth and development are not mutually exclusive to sustainability and environmental care. In a phrase, it is possible to profit and do good.
This is why bringing these opportunities like Made in Ghana could be what it needs to kickstart itself into the world stage as a truly sustainable economy.