InfraCo Africa invests to scale access to clean transport in rural Zimbabwe
01 Dec 2022

Harare, Zimbabwe: InfraCo Africa, part of the Private Infrastructure Development Group (PIDG), has signed an agreement committing US$2 million to scale the offering of Mobility for Africa, an electric mobility company delivering affordable, cargo-carrying e-tricycles and solar-powered battery charging solutions for underserved communities in rural Zimbabwe.

Mobility for Africa’s Director and CEO, Shantha Bloemen said of the investment, “We are grateful to InfraCo Africa for this investment and their vote of confidence. It will allow us to demonstrate how our fleet management system can be replicated to many rural communities. But it also signals that a rural woman, our primary customer, should no longer be ignored and acknowledges the critical role they play in agricultural and economic development. Mobility for Africa knows that by providing green shared mobility solutions to rural communities, especially women, we can have a catalytic impact on local economic activity, reduce gender inequality and contribute to building resilience against climate change.

Known locally as ‘Hambas,’ Mobility for Africa’s electric three-wheelers service the daily transport needs of small-scale farmers – often women’s cooperative groups – who buy or lease the trikes to transport their produce to markets. Reduced journey times and access to markets in larger towns enable farmers to sell their produce at higher prices whilst also minimising post-harvest losses increasing income generation, supporting SDG 2. Healthcare professionals also use ‘hambas’ to reach patients across large geographical areas and rough terrain. The vehicles also enable the transportation of firewood, water and passengers, reducing the energy and time burden for women who have primary responsibility for domestic labour.  Designed without a straddle bar, the vehicles are
comfortable for women to drive.

“We are delighted to be working with Mobility for Africa to scale its exciting electric tricycle and solar-powered battery charging offering in rural Zimbabwe,” said InfraCo Africa’s Business Development Manager, Beatrice Muthoni, “As the first African off-road e-tricycle, ‘Hambas’ will transform access to affordable, clean transport enabling people to reach employment, education and healthcare as well as to transport goods to market and to support domestic labour.

InfraCo Africa can leverage experience from our electric mobility investments elsewhere in East Africa. This is our first investment in Zimbabwe and we look forward to partnering with Mobility for Africa to scale its solution to addressing rural transport needs in the country.” Visiting Domboshawa, the British Ambassador to Zimbabwe, Melanie Robinson said, “ I am delighted by news of this InfraCo Africa investment in Mobility for Africa, a woman-led start-up doing a great job providing climate-friendly transport to small scale Zimbabwean farmers, many of them women.

Mobility for Africa’s Hamba electric tricycles are designed with women users in mind – I can testify to that as I’ve had a chance to ride one! We’d love to see much more green finance investing in Zimbabwe’s private sector.”

InfraCo Africa’s investment will finance four hundred new Hambas, six hundred batteries and eight new charging stations at strategic locations across eastern Zimbabwe. It is anticipated that the project will significantly scale Mobility for Africa’s business, enabling it to engage with more small scale farmers, especially women and grow the business case that by partnering with agricultural partners, it can demonstrate the financial sustainability and socio-economic impact of its model. It is anticipated that the company will then be well-positioned to attract further private sector finance with a view to scaling its offering to other customer groups and to new geographies across the region.

Notes to Editor:
• 61.4% of Zimbabwe’s population live in rural areas where access to public transport is limited and the cost and availability of fuel is prohibitive.
• Mobility for Africa has secured grant funding from EEP Africa, the African Enterprise Challenge Fund and Toyota Mobility Foundation, with the latter providing technical support to ensure that vehicles assembled in Mobility for Africa’s Harare assembly facility are of high quality and are built to meet rigorous safety standards.
• Women make up around 70% of Zimbabwe’s agricultural labour force. They also play a critical role in maintaining household food and nutrition security; in the Southern Africa Development Community (SADC), of which Zimbabwe is a member, it is estimated that women contribute more than 60% to total food production.

The Private Infrastructure Development Group (PIDG) PIDG is an innovative infrastructure project developer and investor which mobilises private investment in sustainable and inclusive infrastructure in sub-Saharan Africa and south and south-east Asia. PIDG investments promote socio-economic development within a just transition to net zero emissions, combat poverty and contribute to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). PIDG
delivers its ambition in line with its values of opportunity, accountability, safety, integrity and impact. Since 2002, PIDG has supported 190 infrastructure projects to financial close which provided an estimated 220 million people with access to new or improved infrastructure. PIDG is funded by the governments of the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, Switzerland, Australia, Sweden, Germany and the IFC

InfraCo Africa: InfraCo Africa is part of the Private Infrastructure Development Group (PIDG) and seeks to alleviate poverty by mobilising investment into sub-Saharan infrastructure projects. It does this by investing directly into early-stage projects or by funding experienced teams to provide project development leadership.

Through its investments arm, InfraCo Africa can also provide equity to close a financing gap and start construction or fund innovative solutions that need support to scale-up, to pilot new products or enter new markets. InfraCo Africa is funded by the governments of the United Kingdom (through FCDO), the Netherlands (through DGIS) and Switzerland (through SECO). To find out more visit:

Mobility for Africa: Mobility for Africa leverages technological know-how and manufacturing skills from the revolution taking place in electric transport. The company produces low-cost, quality renewable electric tricycles built for a rural off road environment. The transport is designed to cater to the user’s need for local mobility, provide long term and low interest financing to make them accessible and investing in longer term off-grid community-based renewable power solutions. To find out more visit: