Meeting on 15 June via video conference, the IRF Africa Board took stock of the impact that Covid-19 has had on the transport sector in Africa and discussed priorities going forward. Opening up the meeting, IRF President, Bill Halkias stressed the need ensure collectively that resources made available for recovery are properly used. “Today more than ever, given the current pandemic and the challenges it brings, we need to stick together” he said. “This meeting will help us prioritise activities and make sure they are in line with the work each of your organisation is pushing forward” he added.
IRF has already voiced it concern for the absence of proper attention to the specificities of the African continent in the context of the current crisis and in the framework of discussion around recovery. “We are determined to ensure that Africa stays on the radar and receives adequate support in the difficult months and probably years ahead” Halkias said. “Africa has a special place in IRF’s heart and it has been a key area of action for the past 72 years. You can be reassured that it will continue to be so also during my Presidency” he concluded.
Mr Kiran Kapila – IRF President Emeritus – gave a quick recap on this initiative. Made up of members from prominent African Institutions, multilateral development banks, key regional and sub-regional Institutions and stakeholders, the IRF Africa has mainly an advisory role.
Discussion focused on the Regional Centres of Excellence being supported by the African Development Bank in Cameroon and Tanzania; on progress on the development of an African Road Safety Observatory; and on short-term and long-term training and capacity building needs for the continent and how those are being affected by the current Covid-19 crisis.
The group will meet again end of September to assess developments determined by the pandemic and further coordinate action.
More info on the IRF Africa Board is available on: https://irfnet.ch/irf-africa/