Addis Ababa, 21 November 2014 (ECA) - African Road Safety experts gathered in Addis Ababa from 12 to 13 November 2014 in a workshop to discuss progress in the implementation of the African Road Safety Action Plan (2011-2020). The event which was jointly organised by the Economic Commission for Africa (ECA), Economic Commission for Europe (ECE) and the International Centre for Alcohol Policies (ICAP) also provided a platform to increase the awareness of government officials about the United Nations road safety legal instruments; and to promote and discuss effective approaches to preventing drink driving.
The experts commended ECA for its ongoing comprehensive review of the status of implementation of the African Road Safety Action Plan by member States. Preliminary findings of the ECA study indicate that progress has been uneven across member States as well as across the different intervention areas. For instance, member States are doing relatively well in the establishment of lead Road Safety Agencies, with 57% of them having done so. Similarly, 50% of member States have set realistic and attainable road safety targets while 79% indicate that they have established self-standing road safety financing mechanisms.
However, more than 50% of the surveyed countries have done nothing at all or significant with regard to: creating knowledge management portals on road safety issues; allocating at least 10% of road infrastructure investment funds to road safety, and enforcing mandatory reporting on road safety. Overall, there is no activity under the Road Safety Management Pillar of the action plan that has been fully implemented by up to 50% of the surveyed countries.
“It is encouraging, however, to note that 43% of the countries have approved national road safety policy; 36% promote research on road safety; and 43% promote private sector and civil society involvement in road safety,” participants said.
The ECA study revealed a number of good practices that could be replicated across the continent such as: establishing memorandum of understanding among road safety stakeholders in Zambia and Namibia; undertaking road safety audits and inspections in Zambia and Malawi; allocating road funds to road safety activities in Ghana and Ethiopia; and implementing zero tolerance on drink-driving in Kenya.
The experts adopted an Outcome Document that recommends ECA to:
- Continue facilitating the sharing of experiences among African countries and providing guidance in the implementation of the African Action Plan for the UN Road Safety Decade;
- Develop a strategy for verifying and ensuring that comprehensive and upgraded information is provided by member States on progress in the implementation of the African Action Plan;
- Ensure that the survey on the implementation of the African Road Safety Action Plan also tracks the implementation of UN Road Safety Conventions; and
- Coordinate efforts to undertake a mid-term review of the implementation of the African Road Safety Action Plan.
The Outcome Document also highlights the importance of mainstreaming road safety in the Post 2015 Development Agenda as well as in discussions on the UN Sustainable Development Goals.
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