In 2020 we will organize our 5th edition of Bike for Africa: after Rwanda/Burundi, Uganda, Senegal/ The Gambia and Cameroon, we are now planning to go mountain biking in the north western provinces of Rwanda
In 2020 we will organize our 5th edition of Bike for Africa: after Rwanda/Burundi, Uganda, Senegal/ The Gambia and Cameroon, we are now planning to go mountain biking in the north western provinces of Rwanda (between 300 and 350 km), alongside lake Kivu, covering parts of the famous Congo Nile trail, cycling through the "Country of the Thousand Hills", a spectacular trail for hikers and bikers.
This edition will be different from the other years, as we want to make it a fully Brussels Airlines/Eurowings Group event, with as sole participants, staff members of our airline.
We will do our utmost to have both the sustainable development projects team and the bikers team stay over at the same locations every night.
We have concluded a partnership with ENABEL, the Belgian Cooperation Agency that is already supporting many projects in various African countries. Sustainability is an essential criterion for developing work for populations in need. On the other hand, it is also very important to involve the local population and avoid that work is taken away from the low skilled local workforce. In that respect, ENABEL advised us to avoid performing tasks such as painting work or construction work, but to focus rather on what benefit we can bring, based on the skills of the participants. Concretely it means that we will help local entrepreneurs with our skills and knowledge, more in particular in the area of Design Thinking. In case you are not familiar with the principles of Design Thinking, a workshop will be organized in BRU and CGN and project visits will be prepared upfront. Local support to avoid language barriers will be provided. Colleagues signing up for this program, will be thoroughly briefed upfront.
The accommodation will be partly hotels/lodges and partly camping. Be prepared for basic comfort (knowing that our experience learns us that these stay-overs are usually what people remember best!) and limited connectivity.
You do not have to be an Olympic athlete to participate, however, a good physical condition and endurance is required. To assess your condition relative to the group, we will organize a number of training sessions, some optional, some highly recommended as your commitment is absolutely necessary: joint trainings are not only fun and great to meet your fellow-bikers, but they give the coaches the chance to support you in your training efforts.
More practical info will follow.
The Republic of Rwanda is a country in Central / East Africa and one of the smallest countries on the African mainland. Located a few degrees south of the Equator, Rwanda is bordered by Uganda, Tanzania, Burundi, and RDC.
It is situated in the African Great Lakes region, with numerous lakes throughout the country. The climate is temperate to subtropical, with two rainy seasons and two dry seasons each year. We will be there in the short dry season with occasional rains and reasonable temperatures. Rwanda is at an average height of 1.500m, which makes it cool at night and pleasantly warm during the day.
Rwanda has a presidential system of government, with Paul Kagame as president who took office in 2000. Rwanda is one of only two countries with a female majority in the national parliament. Social tensions between Hutu and Tutsi population erupted in the 1994 genocide, in which Hutu extremists killed an estimated 500,000 to 1 million Tutsi. A visit of the Genocide Memorial is programmed.
Rwanda's economy suffered heavily in wake of the 1994 genocide, but has since strengthened. The economy is based mostly on agriculture. Coffee and tea are the major cash crops for export. Tourism is a fast-growing sector and is now the country's leading foreign exchange earner. Rwanda is one of only two countries in which mountain gorillas can be visited safely.
Bike for Africa 2020 is only open to Brussels Airlines and Eurowings staff.
Given the limited number of seats, we ask all colleagues who wish to take part in this adventure to send us a short (1-minute) motivational video (nothing fancy, just use your smartphone!), in which you explain ( in your mother tongue) why you would like to join Bike for Africa 2020.
We will make sure to confirm your participation by 11 June.
A first info session that will take place on 23 May at 16.30 in the b.house restaurant in Brussels.
The date for an info session in Cologne will soon be published.