November 17 2016

Bike share programs aren’t just intended to provide an active mode of transportation for moderate distances; they’re also meant to cut down on car usage, thereby reducing carbon emissions and helping to stave off global warming. Despite their prevalence in Western countries, there were no bike shares on the entire African continent. So the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) formulated the idea behind the Medina Bike, holding an auction for various companies to bid on the idea and consequently produce the bike-share.  Smoove, a French firm that specializes in bike-shares all over the globe, won the bidding and teamed up with a local Moroccan business, Estates Vision, to put the plan into action.

Medina Bikes (“medina” means “city” in Arabic) are now available at ten locations within the greater Marrakech area of Morocco.  The launch of the service coincided with the United Nations COP22 Climate Change Conference in Marrakech, which aimed to build the foundation for the enactment of the 2015 Paris Agreement. The hope is for the bike share program to set a new standard for green transit throughout the country and continent.

Morocco is a leader when it comes to climate change.  On top of having the first African bike-share in one of its largest cities, they are also in the process of constructing Noor Solar Power Station, which by 2018, will be the largest solar plant in the world and visible from space. According to Germanwatch and the Climate Action Network, Morocco serves as one of the leading nations in stopping climate change.  The nation plans on generating 52% of its energy from sustainable, renewable resources by the year 2030.