Founder and CEO of Booomers International Kwabena Danso (pictured) is providing economic empowerment and sustainable solutions through the building of bamboo bikes in his homeland of Ghana, reports CNN Africa.
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Danso decided to get in to bike manufacturing after being exposed to the work of bike aficionado and designer Craig Calfee who is behind Bamboosero, which is reportedly responsible for the renewed interest in bamboo bikes worldwide in recent years.
With Calfee visiting Ghana to show how to manufacture bicycles — “We managed to get him [Calfee] to come down to train people” — Danso was able to arm his apprentices with the skills needed to learn the nuts and bolts of bamboo bike manufacturing.
“Whilst there are bikes being crafted by other manufactures in Ghana, at the root of Booomers lies not only innovative design but a social conscience with climate change mitigation and rural poverty alleviation among their primary goals. Danso takes his rural youth teams through the entire manufacturing process — from the harvesting of bamboo through to the final assembly of bespoke bicycles — to ensure they’re equipped with a diverse skill set.”
With its well-publicized power outages and difficulties obtaining capital, Africa is not an easy place to manufacture. Speaking to some of his challenges, Danso says, “Sometimes you come to work for two days and there is no light. That’s a really big problem to manufacturing in Africa.”
Still, these challenges aren’t standing in the way of Danso stimulating the economy while using sustainable natural resources.
“We do bamboo bicycles, bamboo bicycle stands, and bicycle baskets for now,” says Danso. Booomers International also creates road, city, and mountain bikes for men and women. Danso adds, “Each bike is purely handmade…once you get your bike nobody else in the world has it.”
And Danso isn’t stopping at bikes.
In fact, Danso is actively working toward making both Ghana and his company the source and destination for bamboo products worldwide.
“In the next five years we want to conquer the world,” Danso says, with plans to expand to bamboo furniture, household items, and even houses. “We want to make this place the point where you come and get everything from bamboo.”
Watch a video on the popularity of bamboo bikes in Ghana here: