Press release | Development Cooperation | 25 October 2022

Sustainable and affordable: Winners of Design Sprint pave the way for “Made in Ghana” e-mobility solutions

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Students presenting a 3D-Model of the charging station they developed during the workshop.
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Student team using a paper-based model to visualize the various elements of their innovative solution .
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Quincy Agyapong from Impact Hub Accra (right) demonstrates a e-cargo bike to students.
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With the methodology of Human Centered Design, the participants learn how to create the best solution for the users.
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Eight young students emerged as the winners of the first Design Sprint organized by Impact Hub Accra in collaboration with Siemens Stiftung. Launched on October 10, 2022 in Accra, the five-day workshop saw 31 final-year students from different Ghanaian universities and fresh graduates develop prototypes for sustainable e-mobility charging facilities. The program is funded by the German government’s International Climate Initiative (IKI) to facilitate the decarbonization of transportation in Ghana.

Impact Hub Accra, a center for innovation and entrepreneurship and Siemens Stiftung launched the initiative Design Sprint under the motto “Charge 2022” to enable the next generation of Ghanaian sustainable technology and mobility enthusiasts to work on practical and implementable electric mobility ideas. The program invited applications from students studying in technical universities and recent graduates who participated in group as well as individual exercises to develop solutions. During the week-long program, they worked with industry experts, mentors and academics who coached them on hands-on technical and product development aspects. 

Will Senyo, CEO of Impact Hub Accra said: “Our aim for the IKI Cargo Bikes project is to promote the use of e-cargo bikes in Africa as a viable means of transport. The week-long Design Sprint program sought to engage young people to provide innovative solutions that will revolutionize the transport industry. For 12 months, the eight winners will join our team to develop their skills and capabilities and ultimately help us get closer to our mission. We are passionate about sustainable solutions, and continuously partner with local and international institutions to support inclusive growth in West Africa and beyond”. 

The prototype from the student team “AK LAB” won the competition, teams “Flash Ride” and “Proton” were placed second and third respectively. Students were competing to develop a charging station unit with a total cost limit of €7,000 with the capacity to charge eight to ten 48V 21Ah e-bike batteries simultaneously. The competitors were encouraged to primarily use recycled and locally available materials.

“The aspiration is that the ideas developed should be embedded in circular economy principles. We want to facilitate the production and dissemination of climate-friendly mobility systems along with nurturing Ghana’s vast youth population in future growth areas in the green economy. The exchange of experiences through our three-year program “Cargo bikes Made in Ghana” will contribute to the further expansion of the electric mobility ecosystem in West Africa”, adds Marah Köberle, Senior Project Manager Development Cooperation at Siemens Stiftung and member of the jury that selected the best projects.

Green and clean mobility and transport are vital to achieving Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 11 on sustainable cities and communities along with supporting the implementation of other SDGs such as access to education or health. To support the transformation in Ghana’s transportation sector, Impact Hub Accra and Siemens Stiftung launched the joint project “Cargo Bikes: Made in Ghana” in 2021 to introduce electric cargo bikes and encourage sustainable production in the country. They are working with regional institutions, businesses, academics and administration on advocacy and technical issues to foster more sustainable, accessible, inclusive, and efficient urban transportation.  

This project is sponsored by IKI (International Climate Initiative), the German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Climate Action’s implementation arm for international climate finance commitments. With its IKI grants, the Ministry provides targeted support to small-scale civil-society stakeholders based in Germany that work to protect the climate and cooperate with local partners in emerging economies like Ghana.

About Impact Hub Accra
Impact Hub Accra is a leading social entrepreneurship and innovation center in Ghana. Our mission is to support inclusive growth in West Africa through the creation of a resilient and dynamic social innovation ecosystem. Working with local and international private and public partners, we empower local entrepreneurs, helping them fulfill their potential to become active change makers. Now with our ongoing growth project, Ako Adjei Park, we are taking our vision to the next level. The vision is to build a 20,000sqm mixed-use (live-work-play) campus of up to 20 buildings, with workspaces and growth support programs for the city’s boldest innovators.

About IKI 
The International Climate Initiative (IKI) is an important part of the German government’s international climate finance commitment. Since 2022 the IKI is implemented by the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Climate Action (BMWK) in close cooperation with the Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation, Nuclear Safety and Consumer Protection (BMUV) and the Federal Foreign Office (AA). Through the IKI, the ministries jointly support approaches in developing and emerging countries to implement and ambitiously develop the Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) anchored in the Paris Agreement. 

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