Road Safety

Road Safety


school For further information about SSATP activities and related publications, visit the topic page Road Safety.



As part of the Third Development Plan, the SSATP objectives are the following:

  1. Enable AUC and UNECA to encourage countries to achieve UN Decade of Action for Road Safety and Africa Plan of Action 2011-2020 Road Safety goals.
  2. Promote effective policy and strategy formulation and implementation at country level.
  3. Stimulate good practice in Road Safety Management (Pillar one of the UN Decade of Action) by promoting systematic implementation of the Africa Plan of Action.
  4. Integrate better road safety policy and pillar-based interventions in locally and externally funded road developments.

The road safety situation in Africa is rapidly becoming an obstacle to competitiveness and development in Africa, exceeding the impact of HIV AIDS. Two circumstances underscore the urgency to address the road safety issue. First, relative to the rest of the world, Africa has an extremely high rate of road fatalities, and second, road safety management structures are still not sufficiently robust. Although Africa has one of the lowest road network densities, at 0.08km/sq. km, and its vehicle fleet accounts for only 2 percent of the world’s total, every year more than 300,000 people lose their lives on the streets and highways in Africa. In spite of the low motorization, Africa’s road related fatality rate of 24.4 per 100,000 is the world’s highest, and fatality rates per vehicle in Africa are about a hundredfold higher than those of well performing regions. It has also been established that over 65 percent of those affected by road traffic crashes are the vulnerable road users, including pedestrians and cyclists. Unless drastic measures are put into place, indications are that Africa’s projected growth in motorization would increase road crashes by 68 percent over the next decade.

In 2010, the United Nations General Assembly declared the first-ever “Decade of Action for Road Safety” which paved the way for a declaration and action plan adopted by the African Heads of States in January 2012. The launching of the Decade brought the challenge of road safety to the forefront of development. However, improving road safety will be difficult and long, and implementation of the action plan in Africa will continue to require significant efforts in particular to address: (a) continued inadequate institutional capacity to lead the execution of the action plan; (b) the limited and uneven progress of the RECs in delivering on their regional harmonization and monitoring effort; (c) inadequate funding; and (d) weak technical leadership at continental level.

Dying on a road is the opposite of sustainability. With this cluster, SSATP has a chance to significantly contribute to help save lives on the roads of Africa. Building on its road safety work under the current development plan, SSATP will employ a two pronged approach to tackle issues in road safety: improve road safety management in a comprehensive way and introduce bolder measures to deal with the safety of vulnerable road users.


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