How African countries can halve the number of road accidents by 2030

How African countries can halve the number of road accidents by 2030

What is the connection between road safety and the broader SDGs?

Road safety targets are an integral part of the SDG agenda. Target 3.6 aims to halve the number of road deaths and injuries by 2030, while Target 11.2 focuses on providing access to safe, affordable, accessible and sustainable transport systems and improving road safety for all.

In addition, road safety is crucial to achieving the goals related to health, climate change, infrastructure and cities, education, gender equality, decent work and economic growth. In terms of SDG 4, for example, safer roads mean that more children and young people have safe access to quality education.

The goal of halving the number of road accidents by 2030 is ambitious. What policy and infrastructure measures are most effective in achieving this goal?

Indeed, the goal is ambitious. The latest WHO Global Status Report on Road Safety states that only 10 countries have so far managed to reduce road deaths by over 50 percent. So we need to step up our efforts. Against this backdrop, the UN General Assembly adopted a resolution on 24 June 2024 to improve road safety ahead of the Fourth Global Ministerial Conference on Road Safety, to be held in Marrakesh from 18 to 20 February 2025.

There are 58 United Nations transport conventions, six of which are considered priority for accession to improve road safety.

For example, focusing on making walking and cycling safer can be crucial. Fewer than 50 countries have policies in place to promote walking, cycling and public transport. Vulnerable road users such as pedestrians, cyclists and motorcyclists remain at risk.

You mentioned the need for cooperation between Presidents Bio of Sierra Leone and Paul Kagame of Rwanda in the area of ​​road safety. Can you explain this initiative in more detail?

I encouraged President Bio to work with his Rwandan counterpart, President Kagame, and other African leaders to make road safety a top priority at the AU in its pursuit of ‘the Africa we want’. The second ten-year plan of Agenda 2063, which runs from 2024 to 2033, will help achieve the target of halving road deaths by 2030.

I would also like to call for coordination of helmet enforcement among African countries and call on development partners and the private sector to support efforts to ensure that everyone has access to helmets.