USAID’s BFG Project identifies tools, approaches, partnerships, and incentives that successfully improve sustainable access to and uptake of appropriate, affordable bicycles in sub-Saharan Africa. This strategy increases mobility, particularly in rural areas, and aid in alleviating poverty. BFG conducted bicycle market system assessments in target countries to better understand the dynamics of bicycle usage and availability through the application of a market systems approach.
Results Highlights from Zambia Bicycle Market System Profile 2023
USAID BFG’s survey revealed that 60% of surveyed individuals stated their household owned at least one bicycle. Although bicycle ownership levels are high, there are strong indications that existing barriers to bicycle ownership are affordability constraints. Throughout the countries studied by BFG, bicycle affordability challenges are linked to challenges with access to finance. The households which stand the most to gain from bicycle ownership often lack the resources to purchase a bicycle and cannot readily access loans from financial institutions. Onyx Connect Zambia has developed and scaled a Pay-As-You-Go model of bicycle ownership which has facilitated ownership to quality, durable bicycles to be used for income generation. An important aspect of this has been partnerships with cooperatives and employers which see the business value in their members and employees having reliable access to bicycles while serving as an intermediary and source of risk reduction for Onyx Connect Zambia.
Potential solutions are supporting MFIs to develop bicycle lending products to offer directly to buyers or to sellers as intermediaries and support associations of bicycle-based businesses to formalize and engage with MFIs.
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