Road safety: a real challenge in Africa

A training on road safety leadership took place at IDEP from May 28 to June 1, 2018. Around 30 African executives coming from agencies, offices and centers dealing with road safety issues, ministries of transport, internal security, Police and Security Departments, as well as Prime Ministers and Parliamentarians, gathered to discuss road safety issues in national development strategies.

Benin, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Côte d'Ivoire, Ethiopia, Kenya, Mali and Sierra Leone were represented in this training workshop, which is the second activity organized in partnership with IDEP as part of the World Bank comprehensive program on road safety. The first one in February was a workshop that set up a Road Safety Data Observatory in Africa.

Mr. Mamadou Ibrahima Lô, Cabinet Director of the Minister of Infrastructure, Land Transport and Disenclavement of Senegal, Mr. Ibou Diouf, Senior Program Manager, in charge of the World Bank's Transport Policy Program in Africa; and Mr. Mustapha Sadni Jallab, Head of the Training & Research Division at the African Institute for Economic Development and Planning (IDEP) attended the opening ceremony. 

Mr. Sadni Jallab highlithed the importance of the theme and mentioning some of the major challenges that the African continent faces in terms of road safety, including promptness of interventions and compliance with regulations by all stakeholders. He emphasized the importance of moving towards more inclusive policies with deconcentrated state services and in ligne with the orientations of the United Nations Decade of Action for Road Safety (2011-2020), proceeded from the Second World High-level Conference on Road Safety. In addition, building sustainable and resilient infrastructure and wider dissemination of road information should be a priority.

For Mr. Diouf, this activity, was rather an exchange workshop and came on due time because statistics were actually relatively alarming. Indeed, Mr. Diouf shared some figures ranging from the mortality rate due to road accidents in Africa (20% of the global rate) while it remained the continent with the poorest fleet (2.3% vehicles globally). Beside a good policy, he suggested the provision of a special fund allocated to this axis of development.

Mr. Lô agreed with the statistics and pointed out some causes, including rapid urbanization, increasing motorization and the high youth rate of the population. This means more or less that road accidents would negatively impact on health system, the productivity of workers and, in general, the economic progress of States in the upcoming years. According to him, unfortunately the most vulnerable users will be more affected, and then acknowledged urgent action to be taken through initiatives for accident data collection and processing, which are at the basis of political decisions.

Aside from sensitizing participants on the importance of road safety in developing countries, this workshop will address the following issues, among others :

  • The UN Decade of Road Safety Action 2011 - 2020
  • The Action Plan for Road Safety in Africa
  • The Charter of Road Safety in Africa
  • Progress noted in Africa
  • Leadership in practice
  • Road safety as a political priority
  • Developing a road safety leadership agenda


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