Addis Ababa, 15 November 2023 (ECA) - To mark the 1st World Sustainable Transport Day, the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (ECA) in collaboration with member States and Transport Corridor Authorities, held an event on Sustainable Transport in Africa focussing on current trends and remedial measures with a view to making Africa’s transportation systems more sustainable, socially inclusive, and environmentally friendly.
Opening the event, ECA’s Executive Secretary, Claver Gatete, in a statement read on his behalf by Robert Lisinge, the Acting Director of the Private Sector Development and Finance Division, stressed that “African countries need to cooperate to enhance their connectivity through an integrated intermodal transport system”. He noted that this “cooperation can be achieved not only by developing quality, reliable, sustainable, and resilient infrastructure but also by exchanging best practices to optimize the development of interconnected highways, railways, waterways, and airways”. He argued that “we must also construct and operate our transport infrastructure in ways that minimize consumption of energy, land and other resources and generate low emissions of greenhouse gases, ozone-depleting substances, and other pollutants to ensure a positive social impact”.
For his part, The Gambian Minister for Transport and Infrastructure, Mr. Ebrima Sillah said that sustainable transport is not a luxury, but a necessity for the present and future well-being of our planet and its inhabitants”. He added that “by prioritising sustainable transport options, we can mitigate climate change, improve social equity, and drive economic growth”.
The Kingdom of Morocco’s representative and Chair of the African Road Safety Observatory (ARSO) Steering Committee, Mr. Benacer Boulaajoul, invited African States that have not yet done so to ratify the African Road Safety Charter to accelerate the deployment of solutions to make road transport more socially inclusive.
In his presentation to mark the International Day, Mr. Soteri Gatera, Senior Economic Affairs Officer at ECA said that to cope with rapid urbanisation, we need to pursue sustainable urban transport solutions that will improve the quality of life for both city dwellers and tourists by inter- alia, improving safety and security, reducing pollution and CO2 emissions while increasing the attractiveness of urban environments.
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