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Tuesday, December 10, 2019

Rwanda scores another first; launches electric motorbikes

Just days after the launch of first made in Africa smartphone, another Rwanda based firm, Safi has launched electric motorbikes to operate as taxis in the country.

In a report monitored from BBC Africa, Safi said its fully charged e-motors can run for 45 minutes and cover a distance of 90km (55 miles).

Motorbikes are a common means of transport in Rwandan cities, some 20,000 operate in the capital, Kigali, alone.

Niyonkuru Christelle from Safi told journalists on Tuesday that the firm will install charging stations around the country.

In August, President Paul Kagame said at a youth meeting that electric motorcycles “are coming soon to replace fuel motorcycles in the country”, and asked taxi operators to cooperate in the process.

Safi plans to hire riders as employees.

However, riders, who are currently self-employed, told me they were worried about losing their jobs and being forced to work for a private firm.

Ms Niyonkuru said that working for Safi would not be compulsory.

Collette Ruhamya, head of Rwanda environment management authority, told journalists that the launch of e-motorbikes is a milestone to curb emissions harmful to environment.

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