Growing vehicle ownership and rapid urbanization have increased the incidence of road accidents in Africa. Nearly 50% of the victims are pedestrians, cyclists or motorcyclists, who are exposed to multiple hazards and often chaotic conditions on Africa's roads. The grief and distress experienced due to the loss of life or injury could be prevented by systematic and appropriate solutions from governments and societies.
To help curb this worrying phenomenon, the African Development Bank hosted a 2-day technical workshop on 7 and 8 May 2019 to develop a road safety strategy. High-level specialists from 25 African countries, including representatives of regional economic communities and regional road corridor organizations, were invited to attend the workshop.
Road safety audits and sensitization for communities living near road projects are systematically incorporated in the design of Bank projects. This technical workshop will serve to leverage the insight and expertise of the attendees in order to produce a framework and guidelines to systematically optimize the Bank's road safety support to its regional member countries. Consulting firm COWI is preparing the framework and guidelines.
"There is a strong need for regular and reliable data on road accidents, and this needs to be published and debated in public fora, including civil society organizations and the media," said Pierre Guislain, Vice President, Private Sector, Infrastructure and Industrialization. "Raising public awareness of accident blackspots and the weak links in accident prevention will bring the issue to the forefront of public debate and help put road safety on political agendas," he added.
Road safety is one of the priority areas in the Bank's Infrastructure and Urban Development Department. One of the Bank's initiatives in the domain is to establish Regional Centres of Excellence for Road Safety, to train professionals and build capacity for consultancy and research work. The governments of Cameroon and Tanzania have spearheaded the initiative. Project funds will be used for capacity building programmes in Cameroon, to serve Central Africa and Tanzania, to serve East African countries.
Click to read about 2018 related publication: road safety measures in Bamako, Mali.
Technical Contact: Girma Bezabeh, Road Safety Specialist, Infrastructure & Urban Development Department, African Development Bank