Ackeem Ngwenya: Designing transport infrastructure for rural Africa

Ackeem Ngwenya talks about his design Roadless, which looks to solve the problems of transport for rural communities in Africa.

“My project Roadless is about rural transportation – providing rural transportation for communities that do not have access to adequate transport infrastructure,” says Ackeem Ngwenya.

Ngwenya’s design for a wheel that can cope with rough and changeable conditions of badly maintained rural roads in Africa has received funding from the Shuttleworth Foundation, and has made it through several prototypes.

“I am quite close to taking them for field testing.”

Ngwenya believes that designers in Africa must work with challenges that other parts of the world have perhaps already found solutions for. There is a lot of space for innovative products and solutions to the problems of everyday rural life.

“These scarcities which we have gives us a blank canvas on which to work on. My design is focusing on people on the base of the pyramid. I like projects that leapfrog infrastructure. There is quite a lot that can be done there."

Watch the Talk with Ackeem Ngwenya