Washington — The World Bank Board of Executive Directors today approved a $300 million International Development Association (IDA)* credit to improve mobility along selected corridors in Addis Ababa and the effectiveness of road safety compliance systems throughout Ethiopia.
The project aims to improve mobility in Addis Ababa and road safety countrywide. This will involve expanding the existing traffic signal and control systems in Addis Ababa and improving the conditions on selected streets for pedestrians, modernize the operations of Anbessa City Bus Enterprise, build the operational and managerial capacity and efficiency of urban transport agencies in dealing with urbanization and transportation and support the adoption of best practice methods of driver training and testing, as well as establishing a secure database for driver and vehicle licensing country-wide.
Road safety is a major challenge in Ethiopia with available information indicating that about 64 people per 10,000 vehicles die annually on Ethiopian roads making Ethiopia the eighth worst country in Africa with the poor bearing a disproportionate share of the burden of these road injuries. Meanwhile, about 65 percent of the road network in the city of Addis Ababa lack pedestrian walkways. The number of vehicles operating in Addis Ababa is relatively low compared to other cities of similar size yet congestion has been worsening, thereby raising concerns in the manner in which traffic is managed.
"By helping to ease traffic congestion and develop a modern public transport system, this project will enable Addis Ababa to remain a great city in which to live and to do business," said Carolyn Turk, World Bank Country Director for Ethiopia. "Expanding the current traffic signal and control systems and providing pedestrians amenities and modernizing vehicle and driver licensing systems will improve road safety."
"With this project, the process of reforming the urban transport sub-sector has just begun, and its success will require the support by all Ethiopians" said Josphat Sasia, the project's Task Team Leader. "The inclusion of the improvement of public bus transport operations that move over 600,000 passengers daily will relieve the worsening traffic congestion that may render urban areas unsuitable as business destinations.
The Transport Systems Improvement Project comprises of the following components: Traffic Management and Road Safety in the City of Addis Ababa ($190.10 million), improvement of Integrated Urban Planning and Transport System ($2.80 million), and Road Safety Interventions and Institutional Strengthening of Selected Federal Transport Institutions ($107.10 million).
The improvement of selected streets through providing pedestrian amenities and safety, sidewalks, street lighting, bus stops and development of a parking strategy bring solace to the pedestrians who account for 54 percent of all trips" said Haileyesus Adamtei, the Project's Co-Task Team Leader. "Adopting best practice methods of driver training and testing, and establishing a secure database for driver and vehicle licensing country-wide making it difficult to falsify associated documents will improve road safety."
The World Bank's International Development Association (IDA), established in 1960, and helps the world's poorest countries by providing grants and low to zero-interest loans for projects and programs that boost economic growth, reduce poverty, and improve poor people's lives. IDA is one of the largest sources of assistance for the world's 77 poorest countries, 39 of which are in Africa. Resources from IDA bring positive change to the 1.3 billion people who live in IDA countries. Since 1960, IDA has supported development work in 112 countries. Annual commitments have averaged about $19 billion over the last three years, with about 50 percent going to Africa.