Main Takeaways on Enhancing Road Safety Leadership in African Countries
At the SSATP webinar on “Strengthening Road Safety Lead Agencies in Africa” held on June 1, 2022, road safety experts and practitioners discussed a recent study of road safety lead agencies (RSLAs) in Africa commissioned by the Global Road Safety Facility with the support of UKAid. As part of a global study of RSLAs being conducted by the World Health Organization (WHO), the SSATP report reviewed the performance of RSLAs in sixteen African countries of Africa.
At the start of the webinar, the authors (Winnie Mitullah, Martin Small and Mustapha Azzouzi) presented the methodology of how the study was undertaken and its main findings, as well as recommendations for countries and development partners. This allowed participants to learn more about: (i) the different institutional arrangements being implemented by countries, (ii) what contributed to the success of some RSLAs, and (iii) actions to improve RSLA performance in Africa based on good practices.
These interventions were complemented by panel discussants from African RSLAs who shared their own experiences related to different aspects of the study. The distinguished panelists included:
- Benacer Boulaajoul, General Director of the Kingdom of Morocco’s National Road Safety Agency (NARSA) and Chair of the African Road Safety Observatory (ARSO) Steering Committee
- Thabiso Ndebele, Executive Manager from South Africa’s Road Traffic Management Corporation (RTMC)
- Diadji Sacko, Director General of Mali’s National Road Safety Agency (ANASER)
- Evelyn Murphy, Technical Officer and Public Health Lawyer from the WHO
SSATP’s Acting Road Safety Pillar Lead, Haileyesus Adamtei, facilitated an engaging panel discussion and the subsequent Q&A session, which incorporated questions from the audience, which consisted of more than100 participants from over 35 countries, of which 25 were from Africa.
Reflecting on the study’s main findings and recommendations as well as the webinar discussions, Mustapha Benmaamar, SSATP’s Program Manager, noted that efforts to strengthen strategy development, coordination and road safety data are of particular importance. SSATP will continue to focus its support on ensuring the success of national road safety data collection efforts through ARSO. Throughout the webinar, the importance of road safety strategies was also noted – several of the studied RSLAs did not have a business plan, which makes implementation very difficult. In the end, road safety can be seen as a business and certainly an investment; a business plan is essential if sustainable investments and funding are to be made available for improving road safety. To conclude the webinar, capacity building needs were also highlighted. Under the DP4, SSATP is planning to build upon the four African Road Safety Leadership Programs organized during the DP3 with the aim of extending road safety management and policy knowledge to as many member countries as possible.