Bow down to bamboo — because this oft-overlooked plant is doing major legwork in the fight against climate change and economic disparity.
“Bamboo is a miracle plant,” Bernice Dapaah, CEO of the Ghana Bamboo Bike Initiative, told In The Know at the 2020 MAKERS Conference. “It’s fast-growing and absorbs carbon.”
Dapaah has grown to global prominence as a trailblazing entrepreneur by effectively blending business with environmentalism. More than a decade ago, she and fellow Ghanaian Winnifred Selby (who was 15 at the time!) founded their company.
During her conversation with ITK, Dapaah described walking miles upon miles to school each day as a child. Countless kids across the region end up dropping out of school because they simply can’t complete the exhausting, time-consuming walk each day. Bicycles are a simple and effective solution to that issue.
Using local raw materials to build the bikes has wide-spanning effects. In addition to reducing traffic and carbon emissions, utilizing bamboo creates economic opportunities up and down the organization.
“The goal for the initiative is to create employment out of it for women and youth in our country,” Dapaah said.
For every bamboo stalk used to create a bike, the company plants 10 more. This not only combats the destruction of nature but also ensures that Ghana Bamboo Bike can continue to prosper for years to come.
Watch the video above for more with Dapaah.