Works minister Eng. Abraham Byandala has said road accidents are affecting Uganda's development and the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals.
The minister made the remarks in a speech read by Winstone Katushabe, the Transport Licencing Board Secretary, at the opening of a two-day Africa Forum of the Chartered Institute of Transport and Logistics.
"The country loses sh800b per year in accidents," he said.
"There is the emotional loss; cost of treatment in hospitals, cost of investigation of the accidents, there is damage to vehicles and property. If accidents are minimised, money can be saved for hospitals and schools."
"Logistics and Transport play a key role in Uganda's economy and should be given attention by all stakeholders. The goal of the ministry is to promote, adequate, safe and well maintained works and transport and services so as to effectively contribute to the socio-economic development of Uganda," he noted.
The function was held at the Silver Springs Hotel, Kampala last week under the theme 'Transport Planning and Road Safety in Africa'.
In 2011, Uganda lost 3,343 people in road accidents, 630 of them children and 14,000 were injured, according to Police data.
Prof. Emurwon Olupot, the vice-president of the Africa Chartered Institute of Transport and Logistics, said non-motorised transport is the best form of transport and yet planners were focussing on vehicles and not pedestrians.
Olupot said many African cities, including Kampala, have become dangerous to live in because of accidents.
"Transport planning has been left to engineers who are road construction experts and they plan for vehicles. They don't want to know how many people are walking, but want to know the number of motorists. They plan the size of roads to accommodate vehicles and not pedestrians and cyclists," Olupot noted.
He added that flyovers would not solve the problem of traffic congestion because in a short time, they get jammed too.
"If you ride a bicycle, people think you are poor yet it is a sustainable and healthy means of transport," he stressed.
George Ocaya, the president of the Chartered Instituteof Transport and Logistics-Uganda and his cabinet were welcomed and confirmed as the new leaders of the organisation.
The forum launched the newly-formed Women in Logistics and Transport Uganda (WILAT Uganda) headed by Lucy Polly Adeke.
WILAT Uganda is intended to address the high disparity in employment of women and men in the logistics and transport industry. Uganda provides an example where bus, matatu driving and motor cycle (boda boda riding) is dominated by men.
Roger Tripp, a passenger transport planning expert, said he has observed transport in Kampala and found that walking is the most neglected means.
"We need more people-friendly cities, less hostile cities where pedestrians are not vulnerable. A pedestrian gets a raw deal on the zebra crossings, they can't confidently cross the roads," Tripp observed.
Jon Harris, the Chartered Institute of Transport and Logistics UK Planning Forum chairman challenged Uganda to create child-friendly communities and environments.