Three key issues provide big challenges to everyday life in Tanzania and indeed much of Africa. We don't see these issues as mutually exclusive - each issue can be solved by a common thread, namely highly-skilled women riding motorcycles!
In a typical year in Tanzania, a motorcycle taxi driver stands a 69% chance of suffering an accident (according to an AMEND survey).
Given that riders often don't wear helmets and that hospitals are generally not well equipped for head injuries or complex bone fractures, injuries are often either fatal or will change the rider's ability to continue life as usual; a serious issue when they are supporting a family of five children (on average).
These crashes trap families in a cycle of poverty but most importantly, ARE avoidable.
Every day in Tanzania, on average 24 women die in pregnancy and childbirth as a result of preventable causes.
A major contributing factor is a lack of reliable transportation to bring them from their homes to hospital for a better chance of a safe delivery.
However, motorcycle ambulances specially designed for rural conditions do exist and can provide a reliable lifeline if ridden and maintained properly.
Employment opportunities for women in Tanzania, as in many parts of Africa, are relatively scarce, especially in fields typically dominated by men such as engineering and driving.
This not only reinforces gender stereotypes about what women are capable of but also reduces the proportion of family income invested in children's health and education, blocking the next generation's chance of progress.
However, of course women are more than capable of being taught to ride well and in our experience, many are keen if they are just given a chance and especially if they can see role models in their own community. It may be unusual but it's not taboo. Many local women actually feel more comfortable with a woman rider so there is an opportunity!