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Africa's Road Safety Challenge

A preventable public health crisis and epidemic

Growing vehicle ownership and rapid urbanization have increased the incidence of road crashes in Africa. Despite being the least motorized region, it has the highest road traffic fatality rates in the world: 2.6.6 per 100,000 people. This translates to 650 deaths per day, nearly half of which involve vulnerable road users such as pedestrians, cyclists and motorcyclists. The socio-economic impacts of road crashes and related injuries are not only harming the continent’s development, but also affecting the livelihood of countless African families.

3% of GDP
lost in most countries due to road crashes
650 people
die on Africa's roads on a daily basis
39% of road deaths
in Africa are among pedestrians

SSATP's Response

Improving road safety management

In partnership with the AUC and UNECA, SSATP was one of the key contributors to the African Road Safety Charter, which underpins the Decade of Action for Road Safety in Africa 2011-2020 and the Africa Road Safety Action Plan adopted by African Heads of State in 2012.

Recognizing that stopping the epidemic of road fatalities and serious injuries from spiraling out of control will require implementing effective road safety policies and strategies, SSATP supports its African member countries with developing the capacity needed to effectively manage and monitor the road safety challenge in their countries. Responding to requests for assistance, SSATP supports its member countries with:

  • Creating dedicated lead agencies for road safety and strengthening existing ones.
  • Developing effective road safety strategies, policies and action plans with time-bound targets.
  • Improving the quality and management of road safety data as a basis for evidence-based interventions.
  • Mainstreaming road safety in transport related initiatives and new road developments.

Where government and donor funding is available, SSATP goes a step further to assist countries with implementation. However, for SSATP to effectively advance the road safety agenda in Africa, strong collaboration and partnerships with key stakeholders is critical. Our main technical partners include the GRSF, FIA, CITA, Safer Africa and IRTAD.

Testimonial of Dr. Boboye Oyeyemi, Corps Marshal, Federal Road Safety Corps, Nigeria


Kamsar, prefecture of Boké, Guinea. Children drive their bike across the youth centre.


Towards a Safer Future

Achieving results on the ground

African Road Safety Observatory (ARSO)As part of its commitment to assist AU member countries with managing and monitoring their progress towards realizing the Decade of Action for Road Safety 2011-2020 goals, SSATP worked with key partners to establish ARSO. The observatory intends to foster national, international and continental cooperation to generate a robust body of road safety data that can be used to monitor Africa’s progress in road safety and influence policymaking. 

Addis Ababa Road Safety Strategy: SSATP helped Ethiopia's capital develop the Addis Ababa Road Safety Strategy, which aims to halve the number of deaths and severe injuries from road traffic crashes by 2023 and provide access to safe, affordable, accessible and sustainable transport systems for all by 2030. On March 2017, the City Cabinet approved the strategy and nominated the Addis Ababa Road Traffic Management Agency (AARTMA) as the lead agency for implementing it. Over the last two years, the City has succeeded in substantially stabilizing the growth rate of road traffic fatalities (RTF), which flatflined during period of 2017-2018.


Featured Publication

Managing Road Safety in Africa: A Framework for National Lead Agencies has been prepared to help countries and the Regional Economic Communities recognize and address the significant deficits in the capacity to manage road safety.

Source of Authoritative Knowledge

Learning from experience and good practice

One of SSATP's main goals is to build the capacity of a country to effectively handle the complexities of the road safety challenge. We do this by sharing knowledge, experiences and good practices through publications, workshops and communities of practice.

Most recently, SSATP developed and launched an African Road Safety Leadership Program to build the skills and capacities of the multi-sectoral agencies involved in road safety management. The in-depth program brings together senior government policy makers with high-level officials from transport and health agencies, as well as other relevant stakeholders to:

  • Increase awareness of the road safety challenge and the need for strong champions and advocates at the country level.
  • Develop leadership capabilities in road safety planning, implementation, management, and operation.
  • Create a network of road safety leaders and partners for sharing best practices and lessons learned.
A Study of Road Safety Lead Agencies in Africa

Road traffic fatalities and injuries are a global concern acknowledged in the United Nations…

Road Safety Strategies for African Cities: A Guide to Development

This report serves as a guide for preparing city road safety strategies which are capable of…

Road Safety Culture in Africa: Results from the ESRA2 Survey in 12 African Countries

In collaboration with Vias Institute and Groupe Renault, SSATP contributed to this report, which…

Latest News & Events

Charting a Path to Safer Roads: Senegal's Pivotal Commitment

June 14, 2023 

    As Africa faces the highest rate of road fatalities worldwide, the continent confronts an increasingly urgent road safety challenge. Over the past three decades, road traffic deaths have risen…

The Urgent Need for Concerted Road Safety Action in Africa

February 24, 2023 

  All road users in Africa face the dangers posed by unlit roads, low-quality imported and overcrowded vehicles, and reckless drivers who speed down poorly designed roads on a daily basis. Every…

Main Takeaways on Enhancing Road Safety Leadership in African Countries

June 30, 2022 

  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…