Members of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), participating nations, and interested parties agree on “smart” measures to reduce traffic fatalities and injuries

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Members of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), participating nations, and interested parties agree on "smart" measures to reduce traffic fatalities and injuries

  • News by AUN News correspondent
  • AUN News – ISSN: 2949-8090

West Africa: A regional workshop on the implementation of the new ECOWAS Road Safety Policy, Action Plan, and Charter has been conducted by ECOWAS through the Department of Infrastructure, Energy, and Digitalization in Accra, Ghana, from September 8–9. The new ECOWAS Road Safety Policy, Charter, Action Plan, and Monitoring & Evaluation (M&E) Framework was approved at the 60th summit of the Authority of Heads of State and Government on December 12, 2021. They were developed under the Regional Transport Governance for West Africa Technical Assistance Project with funding support from the EU.

The ECOWAS Commissioner for Infrastructure, Energy, and Digitalization, Mr Sediko Douka, welcomed attendees to the workshop in his welcome speech, which Mr Chris Appiah, Ag read. Director, Transport. He claimed that getting the Member States, Stakeholders, and Partners on board with the recently agreed Regional Road Safety Policy, Charter, and its Action Plan is the workshop’s primary goal. He added that the goal is to mobilise all available resources as we work together and more effectively coordinate our efforts to reduce fatalities on our country’s and regions’ highways.

“This is also designed to give an ECOWAS response to the United Nations Second Decade of Action for Road Safety with the worldwide goal of reducing road traffic deaths and injuries by at least 50% by 2030,” he continued. We will ultimately understand practical methods to complete the interventions in our Action Plan within the specified timeframes, considering our strengths, opportunities, and potential risks. The African Union Commission, United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA), and the SSATP of the World Bank will all make presentations during the Workshop to ensure alignment and synergies with continental and international programmes.

The Honourable Kwaku Ofori Asiamah, Minister of Transport for the Republic of Ghana, recalled the efforts made to create a unified road safety policy and charter for the sub-region in his remarks and noted that through this workshop, stakeholders are providing an opportunity to collectively agree on the implementation timelines of the Action Plan to operationalize the Policy & Charter as well as decide on modalities for the implementation by all the stakeholders.

“For us in Ghana, the reality that safer and more effective mobility systems have a direct influence on our national economies serves as our compass,” he said. We continue to be dedicated to promoting road safety in the nation for this exact reason. With an expanded mandate to oversee institutional adherence to road safety standards and a provision to penalise non-compliance, we have reinforced the capabilities of our lead agency for road safety. We are also evaluating our Road Traffic Act and Regulations to reflect changes and new developments in the road transportation sector. Additionally, Ghana has created its National Road Safety Strategy IV, its third strategy for managing road safety (2021- 2030). The UN’s second decade of action for road safety, which sets a 50% reduction in fatalities and injuries by the year 2030, is by this strategy.

Later in the workshop, technical sessions were held to thoroughly discuss the substance of the policy, charter, and action plans. The use of motorcycles and three-wheelers, safety-responsive harmonised road design requirements, sustainable funding for road safety initiatives, harmonisation of regional driver training, harmonisation of road crash data, and other significant issues were touched on.

In conclusion, a new Regional Action Plan with milestones, targets, and deadlines for activities was agreed upon, with input from development partners and civil society actors, for implementation by ECOWAS and the Member States, starting in the first quarter of 2023.

Analysis by: Advocacy Unified Network

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