The Automobile Association was represented at a conference being held this week in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. Ministers, Government officials and road safety activists from across Africa gathered to review the growing epidemic of road injury on the continent and to pledge support for a push to secure a UN Decade of Action for Road Safety in Africa and around the world.
The AA commends the Department of Transport and Minister Sibusiso Ndebele for committing South Africa to the global campaign to reduce road fatalities by half within the next ten years.
“Africa has faced many challenges which cannot be confronted by one country alone. The epidemic of road deaths is no different. South Africa pledges support for a Decade of Action – millions of lives depend on it” said Minister Ndebele.
"The AA believes that with the renewed political will to effect change in South Africa, and a determination to make the road safety strategy of government work, the aims of the campaign can be achieved in our country", said the AASA.
"It is clear that Africa as a continent has not only mobility issues, but a very serious Public health problem in the guise of a dismal road safety record. It is estimated that road carnage in Africa represents about 5% of the continental GDP and is set to get worse as mobility becomes accessible to more people throughout Africa" the AASA added.
In a new report issued at the conference, South Africa’s Archbishop Desmond Tutu warned that road injuries could become another killer epidemic on the scale of HIV/AIDS. “This is predominately a killer of the poor. It is the poorest communities who live alongside the fastest roads. It is the poorest children who have to negotiate the most dangerous routes to school. It is time for governments and the donor community to step up to meet this challenge and to commit to a Decade of Action for Road Safety”, Archbishop Tutu said.
The Make Roads Safe Africa conference is organised by the World Bank and the UN Economic commission for Africa and is the precursor to the UN Ministerial Conference on Transport in Moscow during November 2009.
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