Ghana’s road safety ecosystem showpiece in Africa
Ghana’s road safety ecosystem showpiece in Africa

Ghana’s road safety ecosystem showpiece in Africa - Liberian Deputy Minister

Ghana's road safety ecosystem has been lauded as one of the best in Africa worth emulating. 

Although the country is still exploring ways to reduce deaths through road crashes below the current 2,000 people per year, its road safety regime is regarded as a showpiece for other African countries.

The Liberian Deputy Minister for Land and Rail Transport, Darious Kollie, made these observations when he led a team of technocrats from Liberia to pay a courtesy call on the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Authority (DVLA) in Accra yesterday.

He called on Ghana to make its expertise in road safety management available to other African countries.  

Study tour

The Liberian Road Safety Secretariat is in the process of upgrading into an authority, so the visit to Ghana was to understudy Ghana’s road safety ecosystem to replicate it.

While in the country, the delegation would visit institutions such as the National Road Safety Authority (NRSA) and the Ministry of Transport.

The team would also understudy some policies and programmes of the DVLA such as driver licensing and certification, vehicle registration, digitisation agenda, customer service, as well as regulatory regimes.

Choice of Ghana

Mr Kollie commended Ghana for maintaining a good track record in terms of road safety management in the African continent.

He said the choice of Ghana as the learning field was because data had shown that the country had a comparatively better road safety management system compared with others in Africa.

Mr Kollie added that it was easy to choose Ghana because the two countries had long-standing bilateral ties. 

Cross-border collaboration

The Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of DVLA, Kwasi Agyeman Busia, described the visit by the Liberian delegation as important because it was a testament that the authority was doing something good which was worth emulating.

He observed that as the continent strived to address development challenges, collaborations and sharing of ideas among related institutions was crucial.

"It is when we engage, exchange ideas and best practices that we can ensure sustainability in the raid safety sector," he said.

Mr Busia added that such cross-border collaborations would help African countries to build robust road safety regimes that would prevent road crashes and deaths across the continent.

He observed that with more than three million vehicles on the road and an evolving road landscape, it was important for all stakeholders in the transport sector to continue to adopt modern technologies to ensure safety on the road.

Good move

The Director-General of the National Road Safety Authority (NRSA), David Osafo Adonteng, said the DVLA was the fulcrum around which the pendulum of road safety revolved.

He noted that the two critical aspects of road safety - drivers and vehicles quality - were both managed by the DVLA.

In that regard, he said, a diligent DVLA would mean a sanitised road space.He observed that going forward, the collaboration between institutions in the transport sector must be strengthened, both locally and regionally.

The World Health Organisation (WHO) estimated that Africa has the worst rate of road traffic deaths in the world.

The continent has a high road fatality rate of 26.6 deaths per 100,000 people, which is almost three times that of Europe.

According to the global world body, about 1.25 million people die each year as a result of road traffic crashes.

Again, it estimates that road traffic injuries are the leading cause of death among people aged between 15 and 29 years.

More to the point, 90 per cent of the world's fatalities on the roads occur in low and middle-income countries, even though those countries have 54 per cent of the world's vehicles.

The figures show that nearly half of those dying on the world’s roads are “vulnerable road users”, pedestrians, cyclists, and motorcyclists.

Road traffic crashes cost most countries three per cent of their gross domestic product (GDP). WHO projects that without sustained action, road traffic crashes would become the seventh leading cause of death by 2030.

The newly adopted 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development has set an ambitious target of halving the global number of deaths and injuries from road traffic crashes by 2020.

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