Beyond the Bike

Stories from Stuart and Claire's original & recent journeys….

The Bicycle - A merit good and an integral part of sustainable transport solutions?

A recent economic study1 found that bicycle ownership can boost household income in sub-Saharan Africa by 35%.  I may be biased given my passion for cycling but I think there are indeed some very strong economic arguments for encouraging more bicycles both in the developing and the developed world.

The bicycle: more than just a mode of transport

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China - helping or hindering economic development in Africa?

If Africa was a physical battleground between east & west during the cold war of the 20th Century, it can arguably be seen today as the ideological 21st Century battleground between the difference approaches to promoting economic development: the western aid model versus the Chinese trade model. Is the Sino-Africa relationship mutually beneficial? I certainly don't claim to have a comprehensive answer to this but it has been interesting talking to Africans on my journey so far about their perception of this, particularly in Zambia...

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Introduction to the Economic Cycle

The concept of this 'economic cycle blog' was part conceived in Kirkady, the Scottish town which I passed through in my UK warm up ride in 2010. It was most famous in the late 18th century for producing Adam Smith and his seminal work ‘An Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations'.

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Innovation and growth

Following a lecture from Tim Harford on innovation and longshots, the importance of innovation on economic growth, and the incentives behind technological advancement, are considered.

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How Exciting is Africa's Potential


This is a question that anyone with more than a passing interest in Africa would like to know the answer to and one that I hope to understand more during my journey. Before I set off, what better place to start than asking the man who coined the famous BRICs acronym...

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