Making transport a driver for development in Africa

Oct 23, 2012

A new report by a panel of international experts highlights policies to improve air quality road safety and congestion, supporting African development.

Transport is playing a big role in delivering economic development to Africa. But as the demand for transport grows and cities expand, policy makers need to tackle transport challenges to make sure that all parts of society can benefit from this central driver of jobs and growth.

"Transport policies in Africa are of critical importance to the delivery of sustainable cities, healthy citizens and poverty eradication," says Dr Dieter Schwela from Stockholm Environment Institute at the University of York. "This new report synthesizes knowledge on current trends, key issues and challenges facing policy makers and provides examples of best practice and case studies from African countries and internationally."

Road safety is extremely poor compared with the rest of the world with Africa accounting for over 10 per cent of global . As urban populations in Sub Saharan African countries continue to expand at unprecedented rates, is increasing with some cities approaching gridlock.

Urban air and is also worsening, particularly as result of the increase in numbers of vehicles and their associated emissions. Lack of air quality monitoring, emission standards and regulatory procedures exacerbate the problems. This has serious implications in terms of health and equity as well as thwarting economic development. Rapidly rising from the transport sector are also a cause for concern.

The Transport Environment Science and Technology (TEST) network, a four year funded project by the European Commission's Africa, Caribbean and Pacific Group Science and Technology Programme, is launching a new publication at a special session at CODATU XV Conference entitled "The role of in (re)shaping cities" in Addis Ababa (Ethiopia), 22 to 25 October 2012.

The report, written by a panel of international experts, provides an introduction to the transport and environment issues in SSA countries. It focuses on the key transport-related areas of air pollution, road safety, traffic flow management, equity and climate change. The study also makes recommendations for the development of sustainable policies based on five central principles:

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