Ergonomic Street Cart

Project: Ergonomic Street Cart

By: Kumilachew Dejene

The Ergonomic Street Cart project is one of the promising startups being developed in the Addis Ababa University – Technology Business Incubation Center (AAU-TBIC) by Kumlachew Dejene. Kumlachew is a tenant/incubatee at the Center.

Product Overview

If one ever notices the crowded streets of Addis Ababa, they must have seen the numerous informal and illegal business activities carried out on day – to – day basis. These business activities include the trade of various items like clothes and shoes, books, electronics, different snacks, fruits and vegetables to name a  few. These activities, while being a means of livelihood for a considerable number of people and their families, have many drawbacks on the social and economic welfare of the city. Some of the major negative impacts they have are; crowding the streets of the city and blocking the passages of both vehicles and pedestrians, being exposed to traffic accidents, negatively affecting the sanitation of the city, and unfairly competing with formal businesses by operating without paying taxes.

The innovative solution to this problem is the introduction of our product – the ergonomic street cart – to the streets of Addis Ababa. This cart (shown in the figure) is a well-designed, city friendly product that can be used for selling different kinds of items on the streets of the city. It is capable of: conveniently placing and displaying the items to be sold, being easily moved from place to place and protecting people and goods form the sun and rain by means of a shelter attached to it. Since it has a waste bin on its side, it contributes to keeping the nearby environment clean. To increase its mobility, a bicycle is attached to the cart and the goods can be transported to longer distances. The cart’s compactness is also an excellent feature that enables the placing of items in a small area that would otherwise take a much larger space on the streets.

In conclusion, the tangible contribution the ergonomic street cart makes to the socio – economic wellbeing of Addis Ababa is enormous. It encourages the space saving and orderly location of street businesses. It also helps reduce traffic accidents caused by excessive crowding of the streets. Since the cart is aesthetically designed, it makes the streets more pleasing and friendly, adding value to tourism. Moreover, the carts can be registered and given licenses in a similar fashion to vehicles. This results in converting the informal businesses to formal ones that pay taxes for the government thus enhancing a healthy business competition with regular businesses without affecting the livelihood of the people that depend on street businesses.  

Current Status

Currently, the engineering design of the product is completed and about 90% of the raw materials needed to manufacture the prototype have been purchased. After the remaining materials are purchased, the manufacturing of the prototype is the next major task to be accomplished. The manufacturing operations are taking place at the mechanical engineering workshop of the Addis Ababa Institute of Technology (AAiT).

At present, as stated above, the majority of the raw materials are purchased and are available at the manufacturing workshop. The completion of the development of this innovative product is of considerable importance to the society.

Kumilachew Dejene