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Kigali - Using the e-mobility transition to create a better urban future for women

Historically, the urban transport sector in many African cities has been overwhelmingly dominated by men. Only a minority of women, if any, ventured into the provision of transport services. When doing so, they were faced with a myriad of barriers, including challenging training conditions, situations of harassment and difficulties to operate in a safe environment. To address this key issue, SOLUTIONSPlus decided to proactively use the e-mobility transition in Kigali (Rwanda) to address the specific situation of women.

Together with Ampersand and GIZ Rwanda, the SOLUTIONSplus partners in Kigali jointly implemented a project to facilitate the involvement of women as drivers of electric motorcycle taxis. Thanks to the support of Urban Pathways, the women-led organization Flone Initiative conducted an initial analysis of the conditions for gender-inclusive projects to succeed. Several enabling facets were identified and implemented, such as ad-hoc driving training, specific conditions for the practical test, and financial support to access the electric motorcycles. This encompassing approach enables a driving test success rate of 69%, much higher than previous gender-inclusive projects.

On the 15th of November, 24 electric motorcycles were handed over to the women, who will now join the moto-taxi industry. SOLUTIONSplus partners will continue to monitor their activities, pursue further research on barriers faced by women, and discuss with external partners to identify conditions to scale up gender-inclusive e-mobility efforts in the long run. 

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Dar es Salaam - Electric bicycles to deliver medical parcels: multiple economics, health, and space benefits

On the 23rd of November, SOLUTIONSplus launched a pilot in Dar es Salaam (Tanzania) promoting pedal-assist electric bicycles for urban deliveries. These e-bikes will be used by the cycling cooperative FASTA to deliver packages in the city including medical parcels for the Aga Khan hospital. Leaning on the experience gathered by FASTA in the past few years with conventional bicycles, the e-bike pilot aims to increase the convenience of deliveries for the cooperative, give cyclists more visibility, and improve their business. 

During the training and assembly workshop hosted by the Dar es Salaam Institute of Technology Company Limited (DIT),  the project partners EURIST and Fabio trained participants on how to use the e-bikes, before going into a two-day practical training on assembling the components to form the e-bike. Local assembly and the upgrading of maintenance skills is a key component of the pilot, enabled by the in-depth expertise of EURIST, FABIO and DIT.  

The 6-month pilot has now started, during which the cyclists will benefit from the support of DIT providing storage of the e-bikes and charging of the batteries. GPS tracking and regular discussion with the cyclists will allow for continuous monitoring and sharing of learnings. 

All partners are convinced of the major opportunities provided by e-bikes in cities: they enable more people to cycle - allowing active mobility and corresponding health benefits-, allow higher loads, longer trips, and are much more space-efficient than larger vehicles such as cars.

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