“Safer & Cleaner Used Vehicles for Africa” projectDaniele D'Onofrio
The “Safer and Cleaner Used Vehicles for Africa” project, funded by the United Nations Road Safety Fund (UNRSF) is led by the UN Environment Programme (UNEP) and UN Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) and implemented together with key partners such as the Federation Internationale d’Automobile (FIA) and CITA.
This project will provide a platform for major exporters and African importing countries and regional bodies to engage on the required minimum standards. These regulations will have tremendous benefits with regards to road safety by reducing the number of deaths and injuries. A minimum set of operational safety features can lead to a 30% reduction in mortality and morbidity. Aside from reduced fatalities, there will also be far reaching health benefits through improved air quality, climate change mitigation, as well as economic opportunities for the continent. Additionally, the project will serve as a model that can be replicated in other regions facing similar challenges by addressing key gaps in their national road safety systems.
To date, statistics show that more than 90% of road crashes take place in developing countries, with Africa having the highest road traffic fatalities, at an alarming 246,000 deaths each year. As the African vehicle fleet is set to grow four to five times by 2050, the impacts on road safety are likely to rise exponentially. It is estimated that about 80-90% of this growth will come from the import of used vehicles. A significant share of these imported used vehicles does not meet safety standards.