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四川快乐12选码技巧: Electric tricycles roll into rural Zimbabwe

By Tonderayi Mukeredzi in Wedza, Zimbabwe For China Daily | Updated: 2019-02-25 10:27

四川快乐12开奖记录 A Zimbabwe startup has partnered with Chinese firms to give rural women more transportation choices by providing them with electric tricycles.

Next month, the Mobility for Africa pilot project will provide 30 such tricycles adapted to local conditions in Wedza, about 130 kilometers from Harare, the capital. The tricycles are widely used across China as sustainable, cost-effective transportation for small-scale farmers.

Mobility Africa's partners are China's Tsinghua University Lifelong Learning Lab, tricycle manufacturer Hebei Dajiang and two Zimbabwean partners, the Midland State University (MSU) Incubation Hub and Solar Shack.

Ten PhD students from Tsinghua and MSU worked together to design the pilot, create an online data management system to collect evidence, and to develop a financial model and recharging system.

According to Mobility Africa, a social enterprise, mobility in many parts of Africa remains an enormous barrier to development and economic opportunities. The immobility is mainly borne by rural women, who often walk long distances to reach markets or fetch firewood and water.

Solar Shack designed the project's 10-kilowatt solar recharging station that charges 10 batteries but with potential to charge up to a maximum of 20 batteries, with each battery taking up to five hours to charge. A recharged battery can power a tricycle for up to 100 km.

Fortune Chasi, Zimbabwean deputy minister of Transport and Infrastructure Development, said the government was ready to put in place an electric vehicle policy and legal regulatory framework necessary to aid the operation of the tricycles.

Shantha Bloemen, Mobility Africa's principal director and founder, said the tricycles were being assembled locally and although they would initially be costly, their cost was expected to go down with increased production.

"We are doing local assembly for the tricycle, so we have two Chinese technicians who are helping us to assemble about 55 bikes so far. The two Chinese technicians have also been trained our four local technicians," said Bloemen.

Bloemen said they will try to subsidize the cost of recharging while providing microfinance and leasing agreements where the women can pay in easy and flexible installments over time.

Maryjoice Mutopodzi, 46, a beneficiary of the pilot project said she liked the initiative because it saved her from walking long distances when discharging her family chores.

"My husband allocated me my own piece of land where I grow tobacco and maize. I also rear chickens. I'm very productive, so I will not have problems in paying for the tricycle. The bike will not only help my family but neighbors as well."



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