AFRICA: Switzerland finances the roll-out of eWaka’s electric bikes

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AFRICA: Switzerland finances the roll-out of eWaka's electric bikes © eWaka

The State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO) of the Swiss Confederation is lending 500,000 Swiss francs (498,000 euros) to Kenyan mobility start-up eWaka to expand its technology solutions and roll out its "Shujaa" bicycles in several African countries.

It was in 2022 that eWaka, a Kenyan start-up specialising in technology solutions, entered the electric vehicle market. The start-up, formerly known for its mobile application that tracks vehicles in Nairobi in real time, has just received funding of 500,000 Swiss francs, or 498,000 euros. “We hope that eWaka will be a successful example for efficient and climate-friendly mobility systems in African cities,” says the Swiss State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO), which granted the loan through its SECO Start-up Fund platform.

The funds will allow eWaka to deploy its technological solutions and its “Shujaa” bikes in Africa. The bikes, assembled by eWaka, are intended for delivery companies and healthcare providers, as well as hotels and schools, notably in Cairo, Egypt, Rabat, Morocco and Nairobi, Kenya, where the start-up’s assembly plant is located.

“Our bike is equipped with a front and rear rack that can carry loads of 65 kilograms. It is equipped with smart mobility software and two batteries for a total range of 120 kilometres. For 2023, eWaka will therefore continue its strategic partnerships to offer flexible rental options, subscription and purchase plans to meet daily commuting, personal well-being and net-zero goals,” says the company led by Céleste Vogel.

Read also-KENYA: Stima joins forces with Mogo and Bolt for green mobility solutions in Nairobi

The funding from the Swiss government should also enable eWaka to offer solutions for charging electric vehicles via off-grid solar systems. This will contribute to the reduction of carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions that cause air pollution in several African cities. To counter this situation, coupled with population growth in Nairobi, for example, the Kenyan government has for some years supported the introduction of about 350 electric vehicles, according to official figures.

Benoit-Ivan Wansi

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