The Moroccan city of Marrakech, host of the COP22 World Summit for Climate change 2016 has launched Africa’s first fully functioning bike share scheme – Medina Bikes.
With 320 brand new bicycles docked in 10 key landmarks and available 24/7, the environmental friendly project also taps into an old cycling tradition in the city.
“The city of Marrakech is one of the first cities to take this initiative, because cycling is part of the culture of its inhabitants. Secondly, we want to see this project in all the Moroccan cities because it is an initiative that creates jobs and makes it easy for many citizens to move because of its very low cost,” said Moroccan Environment Minister Hakima el Haite.
The city of Marrakech is one of the first cities to take this initiative, because cycling is part of the culture of its inhabitants.
The Medina Bikes project was conceived by United Nations Industrial Development Organisation (UNIDO) and supported by the Moroccan government on a local and national level.
It was implemented by Moroccan company Estates Vision in partnership with France’s Smoove – the company that launched similar programmes around the world including Moscow, Chicago and Vancouver.
Representative of Estates Vision Abdellatif Bouiskran said there were two main aims of the project.
“One of the objectives of these environmentally friendly bicycles is to reduce the carbon while the second objective is to reduce congestion because people can use these bicycles to move around easily inside the city,” he added.
Also, helping the cycling revival in Marrakech is Dutch NGO Pikala, who offered free bike maintenance during the COP22. More than 1,000 bicycles have been fixed or serviced free of charge.
Cyclist Misbah Abdel Kouddous said they repair anything that needs to be repaired.
“It is well known that the inhabitants of Marrakech love bicycles and use them, especially considering that most of them have a modest income. Thanks to this initiative,” he said.
Medina bikes: Africa’s first cycle-share scheme launches in Marrakech https://t.co/Q33wsnloxS— Guardian Environment (@guardianeco) November 15, 2016
Morocco is hoping to become a world leader in the protection of the environment.It banned plastic bags in July and has committed to using green energy such as solar and wind power to produce 52 per cent of its energy needs by 2030.