In most parts of Africa chronic poverty tends to be particularly widespread and, even if transport services are available, fares are often too costly for the majority of people. The shortage of cheap, reliable transport impacts strongly on people’s access to services. Sometimes these people live in remote areas where they have to cover long distances. With long distances to service centres and high transport costs, access to health services [especially maternal and child health, secondary schools and markets is inevitably low. Poor access to education and health services impacts massively on human capital stocks, while costly access to markets impacts on growth potential: farm-gate prices for agricultural produce (often the mainstay of livelihoods in remote areas) will be characteristically low compared to those prevailing in more accessible locations.

It is our belief that if the most basic forms of transportation are provided the people, no matter how disadvantaged, their quality of life will be greatly enhanced. It is for this reason we have evolved the Ride to Life initiative. This is an empowerment programme for artisans, farmers and market women which will enable them cover whatever distance to ensure they access the amenities of life with bicycles. Thus, their quality of life will be enhanced and poverty-induced mortality would be reduced.