The 1st African Road Safety Forum hosted in Marrakech, Morocco on 13-15 November offered the setting to present the IRF’s new data platform developed thanks to the support of the Total Foundation and as a contribution to Regional Road Safety Observatories. With a keynote address in the opening, a booth and several sessions hosted, IRF marked its presence and contribution to this successful Forum.
Organised – under the patronage of his Majesty King Mohammed VI – by the Ministry of Equipment, Transport, Logistics and Water, the National Committee for the Prevention of Traffic Accidents (CNPAC) and the Transport Policy Program in Africa (SSATP), and the support of key organisations including IRF, this Continental Forum was particularly marked by the announcement of the creation of the African Observatory on Road Safety, of which the presidency has been entrusted to Morocco. With the Decade of Action in its final stages, Morocco has redoubled its efforts to ensure that road safety remains high on the agenda for the entire African Continent. Africa has 2% of the world’s cars but 16% of the world’s road deaths, and more than 300,000 people lose their lives in road traffic crashes in the region every year, while thousands more are injured. The Observatory will boost efforts aiming at creating robust data collection and management systems at the national level and the regional level.
During the opening ceremony attended by the Prime Minister of Morocco and several African and European Ministers, IRF Director General Susanna Zammataro gave a compelling keynote address recalling that “There cannot be celebration till people continue to die on our roads at this pace. There cannot be celebration till we keep on seeing the future generations of our countries being killed on roads little by little every day. The young generations are not only the future of our countries and society. They are the key that will help us unlock the door of an effective and sustainable solution to the road safety problem. We as IRF are engaged on this front through the IRF young professionals, through the Youth for Safety and through projects like SafeRoads SafeKids here in Morocco or the wider SaferAfrica project. She also stressed the importance of data underlining that “data needs proper funding too. Sustained funding mechanisms have to be put in place to ensure the creation and management coherent data systems. Investing in capacity building for data is definitively a sensible road safety strategy both in the short and in the long term”.
IRF hosted a dedicated workshop to present the pilot of its new Global Road Data Warehouse. Made possible by the support of the Total Foundation, this platform includes not only the comprehensive datasets that the IRF compiles annually since 1964, but has also various data aggregation and visualisation tools (dashboards) that will greatly facilitate analysis. Speaking at the IRF workshop, Anne Valérie Troy from Total said “Road safety is a fundamental value for our Group. We also believe that the private sector has an important role to play and it’s our responsibility to be active to ensure the well-being of the communities in which we operate and overall the well-being of our society. It’s a collective responsibility and we want to make our part and contribute to the change. That’s why we are happy to support this project and to support the development of regional road safety observatories. We need greater coordination and greater collaboration. Strong and effective partnership are the only way forward.”
Data and capacity building were also central in another session jointly organised by the Global Alliance of Road Safety NGOs and IRF. Last but not least, the Forum also included a dedicated presentation on the EU-funded SaferAfrica Project (www.saferafrica.eu ) in which IRF is actively involved as member of the project consortium.
If you would like to learn more, please contact the IRF secretariat at info[@]irfnet.ch.