AU Commission Celebrates Africa’s Road Safety Day
Addis Ababa – 19 November 2012 – Commemoration of Africa’s Road Safety Day was jointly organized by the Department of Infrastructure and Energy of the African Union Commission (AUC); the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA); the World Health Organization (WHO); and the Federal Democratic Government of Ethiopia on 18 November 2012, in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.
Under the theme Safer roads for sustainable development of Africa, the commemoration ceremony was celebrated in the presence of Dr. Elham M.A. Ibrahim, Commissioner for Infrastructure and Energy of the AUC; Mr. Deriba Kuma, Minister of Transport, Ethiopia; and Mr. Joseph Atta – Mensah, Director of the Office of Strategic Planning and
Programme Management, UNECA.
The statement of the AUC, read out by Commissioner Elham highlighted that about 90% of road traffic accidents occur in low to middle income countries, where 81% of the world population live and which have only 20% of the world vehicles. “All African countries are included in this context and, hence, road traffic accidents are becoming both a serious public problem and a significant economic setback” she underscored.
“Improving road safety requires strong political commitment in various forms, beginning with a statement of well-defined sector policy, laws, institutional structures, programmes and adequate resources for their implementation. Road safety remains a concern in the world”, said the Chairperson. The International community is taking commendable action on road safety improvement. And the establishment of the Africa’s Road Safety Day is, hence one more instrument for African States in the continuous effort against road traffic accidents, she added. (the complete message of the AUC is available on www.au.int ).
“Losses due to road traffic injuries are preventable and should not be accepted as the price for mobility or economic growth”, said Mr. Mensah.
He mentioned that the Africa’s Road Safety Day will become an important tool in African efforts to reduce road causalities. The day also calls attention to the necessary actions needed to improve transportation management, infrastructure, vehicle safety, education, and post-crush care and rehabilitation. UNECA continues to support African Decade Plan of Action designed to reduce road traffic crashes by 50% by the year 2020, he said.
Africa’s Road Safety Day is annual special event that is expected to be celebrated in all Member States in line with the Decision EX.CL/Dec.682 (XX) adopted by the 18th AU Summit held in January 2012.
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