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’Don't give fish! Not even a net! But teach to make a net!’

Jambo rafiki! Habari gani?
A hungarian bicycle designer’s african mission

I am Zoltán Papp, the project promoter of Cargobike for Africa project. My aim is to spread cargobikes especially created for African circumstances in as many countries as possible. With my help, local professionals will be able to produce these bikes by themselves because the construction makes it easy to reproduce it with primitive technologies and short training programs fostered by me. Because of this, it doesn’t only help the users but it also supports the small entrepreneurs. All in all, it would help local people make their living at their hometowns.

Cargobike for Africa
 technical development-education program

- adapting the modular design to local conditions,
- practice-oriented training by building a prototype,
- getting practice, feedback.
Let’s start at the beginning!
From my childhood I love tinkering and in the meantime I took an engineering degree and I acquired a lot of experience too. SInce then I like to make my ideas come true by my hands. As a teenager I have already made bicycle trailers and right now I design my own cargobikes and unique vehicles within the framework of my own business.

Moreover, I love Africa from long time ago – I spent my childhood reading Tarzan books, Joy Adamson’s African themed books, hunting stories and travel books. Nowadays I continuously train myself on the fields of culture and economy regarding Africa. 


The basic idea

In 2015 I started to work for a German foundation in order to create cargobikes with which we could ease the daily water and goods transportation for poor people. It was also a priority to be easily reproduced locally.
The German partner after a while left the project then I assumed the direction of affairs because this is a combination of my favourite areas of interest. 

My trip to Tanzania reinforced my belief that I have something to do in Africa and with my project I will be able to help those people living there. 

During the last years I made several concepts and prototypes in order to make the cargobike stand the proof of necessary technical requirements.
  • simple construction (less moving parts)
  • cheap production locally (ideally reconstruction of a traditional bike)
  • modular structure
  • can transport 6×25 liter watercanister or ~150 kg weight
  • load sharing on the third wheel
  • good on uneven road too (no bike trailer)
  • have got to push/pull loaded easily uphill
  • safe to push/pull downhill
The developing phase has ended in 2017 so actually I work in the introduction of it. For next step several pilot projects are carried out in Tanzania, with local entrepreneurs we created and tested cargobikes under usage. In February and in November 2019 we built prototypes with local partners in Namanga, and then I met nonprofit organizations in Arusha and Dar es Salaam.

Based on my experience, I was able to develop a workable, practice-oriented training methodology. Using it, in cooperation with local partners, I undertake the implementation of projects, in any country in Africa.

The final aim is to make available the production and professional training in an organized frame and to help the distribution of cargobikes all over Africa where these bikes would make people’s life easier.

Papp Zoltán

Cargobike for Africa founder


Personal remark
I see the Cargobike for Africa project as my main task for my life so that I am very determined in carrying it out.
This recognition and feeling inspired my video about Tanzania. You can watch the video if you click on the photo. 


Feel free to ask me questions, tell your ideas or critiques. Thank you for sparing the time and for reading my web page. 


H-9228 Halászi
Petőfi S. u. 69.


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