Bicycles in Tanzania

Why to choose this solution?
Bicycles are used for productive activities, transporting both people and goods. Cycling is a cheap mode of transport, certainly when compared with traveling by car or by any motor vehicle. It is faster than walking and is not easily impeded by traffic jams. A large percentage of cycling also supports income-generating activities in Tanzania.
Savings per day or production:
Reduction of transport-related expenses, including time requirements, benefiting households as well as small businesses that use bicycles.
Cost in money and in own time to construct:
New and used bicycles are available from many shops all over the country. Depending on condition, their prices range from TSh 150,000 to 300,000. A bicycle can last for five years or more, depending on usage, handling, and maintenance by its user(s).
Depending on handling and maintenance by the user and frequency of use, bicycle can last for more than 5 years.
Maintenance needed:
Cleaning, lubrication, protection from the elements, and repair of small damages will keep it in working order for years. Requires some training or relevant experience, simple materials, and small tools.
Resources needed in use:
Bicycles run on metabolic “human power”. New in the bicycles market are the e-bikes, which are mechanically boosted, so it can partially power the bicycle through a battery.
Problems and limits:
Exposure to road accidents is high, especially in crowded and heavy traffic areas, given the lack of dedicated lanes for cyclists. Bicycles are less comfortable than vehicles.
Where and how can you get it or make it?
Available in many regions and shops in Tanzania. Requires training or applicable experience, tools, and supplies to assemble correctly.
Skills needed to produce, install. maintenance, use:
Simple but specific training is required to use, and repair bicycles that are safe to ride. Do-It-Yourself guides for simple repairs and maintenance include those found at
How to use it:
How to maintain it:
Simple but specific training is required to use, and repair bicycles that are safe to ride. Do-It-Yourself guides for simple repairs and maintenance.
Climate effect (if any):
Transport, largely fossil-fuelled, is the third-largest source of CO2 emissions. Bicycles produce zero carbon emissions. Further, bicycles don’t chew up the roads as motorized vehicles do. They are a far more sustainable technology, as it takes much less energy, along with fewer and less toxic materials, to make a bicycle than it does to manufacture any motor vehicle.
Where it is used and how many users are there?
Used almost everywhere in Tanzania. Tanga, Shinyanga, and Tabora are among the leading regions with many cyclists.
Why is it successful?
Bicycles have many benefits, including pollution and CO2-emission reductions as well as ease of maneuvering and operation. Of all transport other than walking, they incur the lowest costs in maintenance. Daily or regular bicycle-riding usually has positive effects on riders’ fitness. Cycling functions even with little or no upgraded infrastructure, and bicycles do not occupy large parking spaces.
If you can make it, a short description, typical problems, materials needed.:
How to make it (if possible):
How is it delivered and by whom?
Supply is demand-driven. There are many suppliers, distributors, and agents all over Tanzania. MeTL Group’s National Bicycle Company (NABICO) is a major manufacturer and assembler of bicycles in Tanzania. Also, there are several clubs for cyclists in the country.
Successful financial model
Prices of bicycles (new or used) and operational costs are affordable by the majority.
What policies and strategies helped the success?
Tanzania’s transport policy include bicycles. Bicycles do not need a road license, there are no road penalties for cyclists, etc. In addition, bicycle shops are located throughout the country, facilitating access.
More info: , , , (English & French), especially “Loving Tanzania” by bike. YouTube Channel for “Africa’s Cycling Revolution” (English):
Name of the association uploading the case:
Centre for Sustaionable Energy Services (TaTEDO)
When was the case uploaded? (YYYY-MM-DD):