40% of African countries are in the process of implementing road safety and 30% have no really started

More than 20 African governments have met in Addis Ababa last month, to review progress in meeting the goal of the UN Decade of Action for Road Safety.

Preparations for the forthcoming 2nd Global High Level Conference on Road Safety, to be held in Brasilia in November, were high on the agenda at the 3rd African Road Safety Conference, as African governments discussed a common position on priorities for the post-2015 period. The meeting also received a report from the UN Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA) on the status of efforts across the continent to implement the recommendations of the UN Global Plan for the Decade of Action.

Africa suffers from the highest rate of people killed on the roads, proportional to population. The rate of child deaths is double that of the next worst region, South East Asia.

Ghana, Nigeria and South Africa are the “top three performers among 23 countries” in accomplishing the activities of the African Road Safety Action Plan according to the UNECA report.

However, African countries are grappling with many social, health and economic issues so it is understandable that road traffic injury prevention is not yet a priority for many. Available data and future projections show that Africa has the world’s most dangerous roads, that road traffic crashes are already killing more than 200,000 Africans and severely injuring at least a million more every year.

The conference was hosted by the UN and the World Bank’s African transport programme