The Economist has a short article – On your bike - a program in Africa that is promoting the use of bamboo to build bikes. The bamboo will be harvested locally in Ghana and use some imported parts. The goal is to encourage a local bike building and consuming industry. The project is being led by Craig Calfee and others and he has kept a journal from his trip. But before I write anything else, check out the bamboo bikes Calfee is making. They look awesome! They are pretty pricey but it would be great to test ride one just to see what it feels like.
His journal is pretty interesting and the pictures of the beta bike are surprising. Calfee provided training, as well, so people can both build and fix these bikes. The beta bamboo bike looks very different than the one pictured in this blog.