Regional Finalist

Recycled bicycles for Africa

Velafrica aims at improving livelihoods through access to bicycles in Africa. To reach this goal we collect disused bicycles in Switzerland, refurbish them in social institutions and export them to Africa. We support local partners to become production, distribution and educational hubs.

The Problem

Mobility is considered to be an important prerequisite for socio-economic development. For an estimated number of four to five billion people in the world, access to appropriate modes of transportation is still severely restricted and a major factor sustaining poverty levels. Sub-Saharan Africa and its sparsely populated rural areas pose a striking example of the far-reaching consequences that a lack of mobility produces.

The Solution

Bicycles represent an efficient, cost- effective and CO2-free form of transport, which is particularly affordable for those of low income. 

The bicycle is a “tool” used by households to gain access to goods and services in order to satisfy their daily needs. Bicycles have the potential to improve inclusion in the market system or impact economic, reproductive and social activities positively. 

Velafrica provides local markets with good quality bicycles with the necessary infrastructure (Social Bicycle Hubs) as well as the technical and entrepreneurial know-how to increase the scope of poor households to benefit sustainably form access to good quality bicycles and services and enable them to step out of the poverty trap.