Boosting Accra’s Bike-Sharing Culture
One of my first ever Impact Stories was based on this incredible young man I had met while working as Africa Communications Assistant for Impact Hub. My time in Accra, despite the almost-unbearable heat, was quite incredible. From the vibrant culture and delicious fruit to the people themselves, I was mesmerized. That was the first time I was in a place where so many youths were building innovative business models to fix social problems. Visit Impact Hub Accra at least once and tell me if you will not be left in awe. Mark Boadi is a serial social entrepreneur of sorts. His first pet project, Team Governors International, has raised awareness of alternative energy and uses of plastic in communities around Accra. Today, he is introducing and raising awareness regarding clean alternative forms of transport that will help Ghana protect the environment and improve the transport system tremendously: Bike-sharing.
While Bike-sharing has become very popular all over the world, Africa has been lagging behind. The World Economic Forum cites the lack of infrastructure to accommodate cyclers as one of the main reasons for this. However, it also seems to be a perception issue. Many societies believe that owning a motor vehicle is a sign of wealth and cycling is for the poor. Through his organization, Mark Boadi is looking to raise awareness of the benefits of cycling as well as show the masses that it’s a cost-efficient mode of transport. The Go City Cycle and Share Program will start by advocating for bike-sharing at campuses in Accra and they have already started amplifying the use of bikes in the Impact Hub Accra community. As part of the project, Impact Hub Accra, which is currently under renovation and expansion, will have a Bicycle Café to accommodate the hub fleet that will be accessible to the hub community.
As part of their pilot program, Go City Cycle and Share have also added a tourism component to their offerings and it has been very successful. Through the City Tour, tourists from all over the world get to see the architectural beauty, artistic richness and cultural appeal of the city of Accra. Tours run during the day and at night, treating people to an exceptional neon lights display. To help with efficiency, Mark Boadi has partnered with the German company, Wunder Mobility, to build a mobile app to help with the logistics and functionality of the program. Sustainable Mobility, Tech, and Tourism are key to the development of communities and the protection of the environment, Mark Boadi is certainly making a difference, as usual!