March 7, 2013

Trendy Ghanaian bikes, Dutch business savvy

Filed under: Bicycles,Design,Sustainability by Orangemaster @ 10:31 am

The BlackStarBike has a unique bamboo frame that is ecologically sound and ‘as solid as steel’. The company has two secret weapons: bamboo from the West of Ghana and cactus fibres from the North, processed in an innovative way, giving the bikes their unique, woodsy look. As well, a large part of the profits from the sales of BlackStarBikes goes to craftspeople in Ghana.

During the years we lived and worked in Africa, one of the issues that kept us thinking is the lack of export of manufactured goods. Africa provides enormous amounts of raw materials, from crude oil to tea, cocoa and coffee, but what does Africa manufacture? Africa’s raw materials are shipped to western countries and to China, to be processed there. In other words, African countries are unable to enjoy the maximum of profits from their natural resources. The profits made by a Ghanaian farmer on a bag of cocoa beans are low, but the profits made by household chocolate brands, which contain those very same beans, are very high.

(Link:, Photo of BlackStarBike by Zapdelight, some rights reserved)

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