SOURCE: African Bicycle Contribution Foundation (ABCF)

African Bicycle Contribution Foundation (ABCF)

July 21, 2016 22:25 ET

New African Bicycle Contribution Foundation to Raise Funds, Distribute Bicycles to Ghanaian Students, Small Farmers and Entrepreneurs

First Order of Bicycles Has Already Been Placed

PHILADELPHIA, PA--(Marketwired - July 21, 2016) - A diverse cross-section of domestic and international business leaders, today announced, at Philadelphia's City Hall, the formation of the African Bicycle Contribution Foundation (ABCF), a new 501©3 organization which will focus, among other things, on the generation of funding for the free distribution of bicycles to under-resourced students, small farmers and entrepreneurs, in rural Ghana.

ABCF (www.africanbike.org) will partner with the Ghana Bamboo Bikes Initiative (GBBI), of Kumasi, Ghana, which was founded by Bernice Dapaah, a Ghanaian businesswoman, whose company currently manufactures 100 bamboo bicycles, per month, and employs 35 workers, and an additional 10 bamboo farmers.

According to ABCF's chairman, A. Bruce Crawley, the Foundation's concept has been well-received by elected officials, and by business and community leaders.

Commenting on the announcement, Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney said, "We welcome the announcement of the African Bicycle Contribution Foundation, which will be headquartered, here, in Philadelphia. As the nation's first UNESCO World Heritage City, Philadelphia has a special commitment to the development of mutually supportive trade and cultural relationships, around the world, including, in Africa."

ABCF's Executive Director Patricia Marshall Harris said that the Foundation has already placed an initial order of 30 bicycles, which will be distributed to students, small farmers and entrepreneurs, in Kumasi, in mid-September. The Foundation's goal is to distribute 2500 bicycles in Ghana, over a five-year period.

According to a recent study of the economic impact of bicycle distribution in rural Africa, participating farmers' deliveries were increased by 25 percent, their daily travel time was reduced by 45 percent, and their income increased by 23 percent.

As to the potential impact of the program on rural Ghanaian students, a recent study, by UNESCO, on providing bicycles for girls commuting long distances to school, disclosed a 600 percent increase on girls' school enrollment, in some northern Ghanaian communities.

Also commenting on the ABCF, from the City's government, was Councilwoman Jannie Blackwell, who has been working closely with the Foundation's leaders in its early stages. "As founder of the Mayor's Commission on African and Caribbean Immigrant Affairs, I'm pleased to see the arrival of the African Bicycle Contribution Foundation, and to know that it will be based in our city.

"Through providing bicycles on the ground, in Ghana," said Blackwell, "this new Foundation, created by Philadelphians, will allow us to provide improved access to schools for students, and enhanced access to markets for entrepreneurs, and small farmers.

"Through exploration of potential new trade relationships between the two countries," Blackwell added, "we also hope to create, along with ABCF, new job opportunities, right here, as well."

Ghana's major exports currently include crude petroleum, gold, cocoa beans and cocoa butter, and the Foundation's leaders are hopeful that there may be an opportunity to add to that list the country's custom-built bamboo bicycles, contributing to job creation on both sides of the Atlantic Ocean.

ABCF leaders said that they expect their program to have, a direct positive impact, as it relates to improved access to health care, water and schools, and greater small business-related outcomes. In addition, they also are very much interested in playing a role, through their procurement volumes, in expanding the overall production capacity and workforce at the Ghana Bamboo Bikes Initiative.

"For years," Crawley added, "people on the African continent, and their supporters, globally, have conceded the important role that bicycles can play in improving health and welfare on the Continent. That being the case, it is reasonable for us to assume that the market will support the growth of African-based bicycle manufacturers, such as GBBI, so that they can fill that need, and create direct and indirect employment opportunities."

ABCF is also interested in creating technology-facilitated platforms for direct, real-time, dialogue and workshops between students and entrepreneurs in Ghana, in Philadelphia, and other major U.S. cities.

For additional information, including a list of the Foundation's board members, please visit: www.africanbike.org.

Contact Information

  • Contact:
    Meaghan F. Washington
    Millennium 3 Management, Inc.
    Tel: 215-751-0140
    Email: mwashington@m3mpr.com
    Twitter: @AfricanBike