A seminar that was organized by the Swedish Embassy in Ethiopia, the Ministry of Transport as well as the National Road Safety Council focused on sharing ideas between stakeholders of possible solutions to the current traffic safety issues in Ethiopia was held at Ghion Hotel.
Tekletsadik Reba, State Minister of Transport, stated on Tuesday 14th April that traffic safety has become a very pressing issue that needs to be given more attention. “This is a very serious issue that needs a lot of attention and this kind of seminar is key to finding solutions,” the state minister said.
According to Swedish Ambassador to Ethiopia Jan Sadek, the Swedish Embassy is closely working with the Ministry of Transport sharing Sweden’s experience that made roads safe and accidents to go down.
“Something that caught the interest of the minister in that first meeting we had with him was the Swedish road safety concept- “Vision Zero.” This vision was adopted by our parliament in 1997. The aim is to reduce road accident fatalities to zero, a demanding target by any measurement but determined to be met by 2020, then totally eliminating all traffic fatalities,” Sadek said.
“Addis Ababa, a capital city not only for Ethiopia but also for Africa, as a host to the African Union, shows significant transformation with new and upgraded infrastructure being developed in recent years. The intensity of these actions in the last two to three years is impressive and is a sign of the commitment of the authorities for a fast transformation, with investments such as the expressway road of about 86 km from Addis Ababa to Adama and the construction of Addis Ababa Light Railway, the first of its kind in sub-Saharan Africa,” the Ambassador highlighted.
He further said that the seminar would be an event that will lead to shared experiences between Ethiopia and Sweden in the area of road safety and that we will build a partnership for the future to the benefit of a sustainable road transport system in Ethiopia.
Different studies have indicated that Ethiopia has one of the highest fatality rates per vehicle in the world. It is in excess of 100 fatalities per 10, 000 vehicles. According to a World Health Organization statistics, 1.4 million people die of traffic accidents every year across the world. Traffic accidents are the ninth most common cause of death in the world.