The Ghana Bamboo Bikes Initiative has been announced a winner of the UNFCC Momentum for Change Women for Results Award 2013 at the just ended COP 19 in Warsaw, Poland.
It was recognized for providing a non-polluting, affordable form of transportation as well as creating employment opportunities for rural women.
Young women with little or no education are trained to manufacture and assemble the bikes. The beneficiaries are also instructed on how to use bamboo waste to manufacture charcoal briquettes to address energy needs.
The activity, propelled by women's leadership, is improving the lives of many rural Ghanaians, women in particular, not only by delivering a sustainable and affordable form of transportation that satisfies local needs, but also by creating employment opportunities and stimulating economic growth.
The project is funded under the Global Environmental Facility Small Grants Programme and implemented by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).
The Initiative was honored by UN Secretary-General. Ban Ki-Moon who rode on the Ghana Bamboo Bike and express his enthusiasm and admiration for the innovation.
Ban Ki Moon put on a crash helmet, not to survive the brickbats of angry negotiators, but to steer a bamboo bicycle around the conference centre.
Co-founded by three students – Bernice Dapaah, Kwame Kyei and Winnifred Selby – the initiative seeks to take advantage of the abundant raw bamboo materials in Ghana to manufacture high quality bamboo bikes suitable for export markets as well as for the road conditions in Ghana, and affordable to the poor.
The woman-led Ghana Bamboo Bikes Initiative seeks to break the status quo in the development of a bicycle industry in Ghana by training young people, especially women, with little or no education in the manufacturing and assembling of bamboo bikes.
Producing stable, cheaper and reliable bikes in Ghana is helping the country reduce its dependence on fossil fuels while increasing economic opportunities for rural Ghanaians.
But, this Initiative is more than just bikes. The women are also instructed on how to use bamboo waste to manufacture charcoal briquettes to address energy needs.
Other sixteen activities that serve as shining examples of the enormous groundswell of action underway across the globe to address climate change were honoured at an Oscar-like ceremony at the United Nations Climate Change Conference.