Local Hero Bernard Kiwia is a bicycle repairman-turned-inventor from Tanzania, who currently leads technology innovation at Global Cycle Solutions in his home country. Bernard started his career as a bicycle mechanic. With only three years of experience, he participated in the first edition of the International Development Design Summit at MIT over the summer of 2007. After connecting with other craftsmen and technicians, he returned home to start creating new ways to use bicycles. Some of his inventions include a bicycle-powered cell phone charger, a bicycle-powered water pump, a solar water heater, an irrigation system and a pedal-powered drill press.
Bernard designs products to help improve lives throughout Tanzania and the developing world. His focus is on creating innovative solutions to common problems by repurposing readily available items – then, once the design works, he shares it with others so they can learn from it, develop it further or build there own. To help spark creative thought early, Bernard started a youth entrepreneurship program that encourages problem solving through innovation and social entrepreneurship, ultimately creating jobs for community youth. Read more about Bernard and his project with GO below.