Bamboo on Two Wheels
In Apaah, a small community in the Ashanti Region of Ghana, Issac Boadu’s dream of becoming a university student and an architect will soon materialize. That is once he gains admission to Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, one of Ghana’s premier institutions of higher learning, later this year.
Boadu will finance his own tuition from savings he has made over two years from working with Boomers International, a bamboo bicycle manufacturer located in his community. He hopes to secure admission to a distance learning program in order to keep his job while pursuing his studies.
When Boadu finished his secondary school education four years ago, he thought it would not amount to much because his parents could not afford to support his tertiary education.
“I knew my parents couldn’t afford to send me to university. My expectation for my own future is very low,” he said.
This is the story of many young people, like Boadu, who are living in various deprived communities across Ghana, where a lack of economic empowerment means the death of their aspirations.
Boadu’s fortunes changed when a friend told him about a new company that was using bamboo to make bicycles in his area.
Intrigued by the news, he asked his friend to take him to the company to see what the bamboo-bicycle fuss was all about.
“When we got there, I saw young men like me working on the bikes. I got interested and successfully got employment there in 2016,” he said.