The Bamboo Bike began as a small project in 1995 by Craig Calfee and has evolved into assisting entrepreneurs in the developing world to make their own bicycles out of locally sourced bamboo.
Bamboo bicycles are now produced in Ghana, West Africa, and soon in other African countries. Bicycles are in great demand as a major labour saving device; making daily tasks such as transporting food and water six times more efficient than on foot. In Africa, Bamboo is easy to grow and can be cultivated in dry areas with minimal irrigation, and does not need to be imported as a raw material. So the Bamboo bike has become popular because it costs less to manifacture than to import steel bikes, as they do not require electricity or a large investment in equipment. Although they require a significant amount of labour to produce, this provides skilled employment and apprenticeship opportunities for young people.
High unemployment rates and the lack of cost-effective transportation are two persistent problems in developing countries. “Bamboosero”, emerging from the bamboo bike project, aims for sustainable development project and long term growth. The goal is to enable entrepreneurs in developing countries to start their own bamboo bicycle manufacturing businesses.