5 QUESTIONS to Dr. Amakoé Adoléhoumé on Road Safety in Africa | November 27, 2017
On 26, 27 and 28 October 2017, Handicap International attended the African Road Safety Forum (FASeR) in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso. The FASeR is an international event aimed at sharing experiences and developing appropriate responses to the challenges of road accidents in West and Central Africa. On this occasion, Dr Amakoé P. Adolehoume, Delegate General of […]
On 26, 27 and 28 October 2017, Handicap International attended the African Road Safety Forum (FASeR) in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso.
The FASeR is an international event aimed at sharing experiences and developing appropriate responses to the challenges of road accidents in West and Central Africa. On this occasion, Dr Amakoé P. Adolehoume, Delegate General of the International Solidarity on Transport and Research in Sub-Saharan Africa (SITRASS) and member of the Safer Africa consortium, in which Handicap International is also a partner, gives us his analysis of the challenges of road safety in Africa and shares his views on European Union-Africa relations in this area.
Graduate of Political Science and Doctor in Transport Economics, Amakoé P. Adoléhoumé is Delegate General of International Solidarity on Transport and Research in Sub-Saharan Africa. He is also a researcher at the Transport, Urban Planning and Economics Laboratory and a member of the Safer Africa consortium.
What are the main challenges in defining national road safety strategies in African countries?
Dr Amakoé P. ADOLEHOUME: At the FASeR we have seen that some countries are advanced in terms of measures to improve road safety but do not have a specific policy framework. Others have policies but do not implement them.
It is essential that African countries define a road safety policy, together with a road safety strategy and action plan. This road safety action plan will have to include prioritised activities in the short, medium and long term. All countries should be able to implement such policy frameworks. It is what the World Health Organization and the African Union advocate for.
It has often been said at the FASeR that road safety is not an individual matter, but an eminently political issue, what is your opinion?
We cannot deal with road safety in our African countries leaving the public authorities aside. They must be at the heart of this process, especially for countries that have not yet undertaken a road safety policy. It is their role. They must define a road safety policy, together with all the other stakeholders.
What role do technical and financial partners play in supporting the improvement of road safety policies and practices?
Regarding road safety, we need technical and financial partners. They support policies defined by the States and support States in defining these policies. The World Bank, with the SSATP programme, has helped African countries to define transport and road safety policies.
In terms of funding, the partners are not sufficiently involved yet. I often hear that road safety is a priority and important subject, but unfortunately available funding is not sufficient. It has to change.
The Protocol of the African Union states that each country must earmark 10% of the amount of road works for road safety. Most countries do not devote even 1% of it. If security is considered important, adequate funding must be mobilized.
What role can civil society play in improving policies and practices?
Civil society is very important as it can guide, sensitize and influence public authorities. If there is lethargy at the level of public authority, civil society should give its guidelines and elements of analysis.
There are always difficulties and obstacles. However, I see that in the different countries civil society is starting to show itself more and public authorities are beginning to acknowledge its legitimate role. It is not enough, but it is a positive start.
Within the framework of the Safer Africa project, the European Union is engaging with African countries in a dialogue on improving road safety. With prospect of the review of the EU-Africa strategy in 2020, what improvements could be made to dedicate more attention to road safety?
Unfortunately, there are no specific provisions on road safety in the Africa-European Union strategy in force. Safer Africa, funded by the European Union, is a platform for dialogue between Africa and Europe on road safety management. It mainly concerns African and European experts and researchers who wish to work together. Research is important in order to identify, analyse and explain the problems encountered in the field. Research contributes to the awareness of a wide range of stakeholders; it is fundamental. The Safer Africa platform has a role of information, dialogue and encouragement to take charge of road safety. Its role is not to define road safety policies but rather to give the States the keys to the issue of road safety.