To fully gauge the impact a bicycle can bring to a household in Malawi is incredibly difficult. Mobility allows all of us to access the very things we need to survive, and can shape our quality of life.
In Malawi there are approximately 18 million people — over 80% of this population — live in rural areas and need to access urban centers for many basic needs and services. More than 45% of these rural households claim to use a bicycle as their primary mode of transportation, compared to 1% with a motorized vehicle. The remainder of the rural population travel by foot. The bicycles that are widely available to Malawians are generally built using old technology, are poorly designed, break down easily, and do not meet the diverse needs of their users. There is a clear demand and need to improve the quality, affordability and accessibility of bicycles in Malawi.
- 80% or 14.4 million people live in rural areas of Malawi.
- 45% of rural dwellers have a bicycle in their household.
- 1% of rural households have a motorized vehicle.
- 75% of rural households live more than 10 km. from markets or trading centers.
- Over 80% of Health Surveillance Assistants (Ministry of Health employees delivering rural health care) rely on a bicycle to effectively do their job.
AFRICYCLE MALAWI PROGRAMS
For the majority of ultra-poor communities, the up front purchase cost of a bicycle is unattainable. Funds that could be put towards the purchase of a bike are used up in daily transport costs to simply access their basic needs (markets, healthcare, water and farms). Africycle employs a network of women, Village Bicycle Agents, that enrol rural households in a bicycle financing program that allow the recipients to receive a bike and repay the purchase over the course of 4-5 months. The cost savings from not depending on hired transport allows them to easily meet their monthly payments and, in turn, create other opportunities to further build on their families financial security.
Bicycle Maintenance and Repair Training Sponsorships:
Helping individuals and organizations become equipped with valuable skill-sets that will greatly reduce mechanical failure of bicycles and allow people to continually use their bicycle to the best of its ability. this training program has demonstrated to reduce mechanical problems by 60% and the cost of expensive repair. Training programs can be offered for individuals or to large groups. Include training manuals, tools, hands on learning and support. Contact Africycle Malawi for Details
Africycle is working with organizations and individuals making a difference in their communities. We are helping offer a valuable mode of transportation that can greatly increase capacity. Many people are making a huge difference to their country but struggle with even basic means of transportation to deliver these vital services. Africycle is helping these people get to communities by donating bikes. They are now able to reach more people, more often and take care of basic daily responsibilities that if left, leave many people struggling to survive
Africycle provides funding through the sale of bikes to generate funds that support local community development projects. In addition to funds raised by donors, Africycle’s programs are able to help smaller community based organization address real local needs in our community. Africycle is able to support these programs through bicycle and training donations as well as with financial contributions. Africycle works with Ulemu and Muula Community Based Child Care Program to provide funding that helps support over 500 extremely vulnerable and orphaned children.
Africycle works diligently to build the capacity into the local bicycle industry of Malawi. Our approach is integrating better quality bicycles at an affordable cost that allows more people to gain access to bicycles. The importance of bicycles in Malawi is paramount with over 80% of the population utilizing a bicycle as their primary mode of transportation.
Business Training and Support:
Africycle is bringing valuable experience and technical expertise to the bicycle industry of Malawi. Helping to establish solid infrastructure that supports the growing need for bikes. Africycle is providing leadership and management training for local entrepreneurs, helping them to establish systems and confidence to manage growth. We are providing the tools and training necessary to integrate new technology, allowing Malawians to become leaders in the bicycle industry. Africycle is building strategic networks and partnerships within Malawi to stimulate change and growth of the bicycle sector.
Qualified Technician Training:
With access to newer technology, new opportunities exist for training and equipping individuals to service and maintain bicycles. Africycle is providing materials for structured training programs and certification for qualified technicians. This creates meaningful employment opportunities for skilled workers, and builds a more professional bicycle industry, resulting in better products and services for all.
Social Enterprising: Community Development
Africycle operates under a social enterprise structure, where revenue is reinvested into the community to help support projects with limited resources. Not only are locals able to get a more affordable and quality bicycle, they know their purchase will also help support their local community. Africycle has been working with the local community since the beginning. Our project was started after connecting with a local man who had a heart for orphans and other vulnerable children. Africycle started by building a facility in Zomba that has grown from supporting 20 children to more than 250 children. The Africycle shop in Zomba continues to fund local child care programs, while helping them build towards self-sufficiency.
PRODUCTS AND SERVICES
Africycle offers a variety of bicycles refurbished to new condition. Refurbished Bicycles, 26″ Mountain Bikes, 24″ Mountain Bikes, 27″ Road Bikes,Children’s Bikes.
Basic training: Training individuals or groups in basic bicycle maintenance and repair techniques
Advanced Training: Training Qualified mechanics. Providing tools and professional training
Repair and Assembly: Repairing all bikes including high end imports
Capacity Building: Working with organizations to reduce transport cost and create mobility solutions
Africycle Head Office, Malawi: 5 Miles, Zomba, on the M3 towards Blantyre
Mail Address: Private Bag 12, Zomba, Malawi
Phone: Sales, Service and Programs, Administration
+265 99 322 1121
+265 88102 4319
NEW SHOP LOCATIONS IN MALAWI
Zomba Market- Top Road
Please contact Sales and Service for contact details or locations
Located in southeast Africa, the Republic of Malawi is a landlocked country bordered by Mozambique to the east, south, and southwest, Zambia to the west, and Tanzania to the north. Lake Malawi, the 10th largest lake in the world, occupies the majority of the country’s eastern border. The north-south Great Rift Valley, which runs through the center of the country, is flanked by mountain ranges and high, narrow, elongated plateaus. In the higher elevations, Malawi is cooler than many other African countries, but the lowlands are hot, humid, and tropical. Natural resources include limestone, hydropower, uranium, coal, and bauxite.
Malawi a former British protectorate(from 1891), became a self-governed nation on July 6, 1964. One-party rule under the presidency of Dr. Hastings Banda lasted for 30 years, but in 1994 the Malawian people voted for a new form of government. As a result, the country held their first free democratic multiparty elections that year, voting in Bakili Mazuli as president. A decade later, current president and economist Bingu wa Mutharika took office amid pressure to alleviate the country’s deteriorating economy.
Eighty-two percent of Malawians live in rural areas and are engaged in farming. Agriculture products include corn, sugarcane, cotton, tea, vegetables, nuts, cattle, and goats. Despite a recent surplus of maize, severe food insecurity in Malawi has afflicted approximately 4 million people—more than a million of whom are children under age five or pregnant women. The chronic food crisis is a major cause of malnutrition and has increased the risk of diseases.
Drought, fluctuating trade expenses, high transport costs, few skilled labourers, and a deteriorating transportation infrastructure are the primary reasons that this largely agriculture-dependent economy is struggling. Malawi is ranked in the bottom eight percent of the world’s least developed countries on the human development index. Nearly 53 percent of people live below the poverty threshold, the inflation rate is 28 percent, and more than three-quarters of the population live on less than $2 per day. Nearly 75 percent of secondary school-age children are either working or staying home to care for their families instead of receiving valuable education.
Despite attempts at economic reform, the government continues to face challenges due to a rapidly growing population and the increasing number of HIV and AIDS cases. The HIV prevalence rate is 10.6 percent; nearly 1.8 million people in the country are living with the disease. More than 1,000,000 children have lost one of both of their parents to HIV and AIDS. In addition, the threat of cholera remains high in Malawi due to outbreaks during the rainy season (November to April); this becomes a huge risk in flood situations because of the possible breakdown of water and sanitation capabilities.
Living in Malawi
Malawi is one of the poorest countries in the world. High population density, and access to basic needs of life such as cooking fuel, food and water make survival a daily struggle. These issues lead to further degradation of the environment and natural resources. Malawi has a diverse environment and with many rural and isolated areas that are difficult to access. Poor roadways and trail networks greatly limit access by vehicles to rural areas. Almost 80% of rural areas receive health care and services delivered by bicycles or by foot.
Transportation is luxury we take for granted in Canada, however, it provides the much needed mobility our society needs to flourish. Measuring this impact is extremely hard to do, however when you consider that over 60% of the population own a vehicle, there is clearly a demand for such mobility. In the same way, mobility impacts the livelihoods of families across Malawi. There are many factors to consider when trying to grasp the impact a bicycle can bring, however one underlying conclusion, they change lives.
To better understand what it is like to live there, consider these comparisons
|Economic output ppp(GDP)
|$ 1300 USD
|Living with HIV AIDS
|Child mortality rate(per 1000)
|# of doctors
*World Bank Data
*Malawi IHS 2017