Safer and Cleaner Used Vehicles for Africa

18 Dec 2020
Safer and Cleaner Used Vehicles for Africa

Statistics show that more than 90% of road crashes take place in developing countries, with Africa having the highest road traffic fatalities, at an alarming 246,000 deaths each year. As the African vehicle fleet is set to grow four to five times by 2050, the impacts on road safety are likely to rise exponentially. It is estimated that about 80-90% of this growth will come from the import of used vehicles. A significant share of these imported used vehicles does not meet safety standards.

The Safer and Cleaner Used Vehicles for Africa project seeks to shift the paradigm on the used vehicle trade and facilitate the development of policies and standards on exportation and importation of used vehicles. The aim is to put in place regulations, standards and processes to ensure that Africa will only receive quality used vehicles, which will have major road safety benefits, for both car drivers, road users and co-benefits on the environment and economy.

The project will provide a platform for major exporters and African importing countries and regional bodies to engage on the required minimum standards. These regulations will have tremendous benefits with regards to road safety by reducing the number of deaths and injuries. A minimum set of operational safety features can lead to a 30% reduction in mortality and morbidity. Aside from reduced fatalities, there will also be far reaching health benefits through improved air quality, climate change mitigation, as well as economic opportunities for the continent. Additionally, the project will serve as a model that can be replicated in other regions facing similar challenges by addressing key gaps in their national road safety systems.  

The project for Safer and Cleaner Used Vehicles for Africa is a step further in seeking to achieve the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development which recognizes that road safety is a prerequisite to ensuring prosperous lives, promoting well-being and making roads inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable.

The “Safer and Cleaner Used Vehicles for Africa” project, funded by the United Nations Road Safety Fund (UNRSF) is led by the UN Environment Programme (UNEP) and UN Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) and implemented together with key partners such as the Federation Internationale d’Automobile (FIA) and the International Motor Vehicles Inspection Committee (CITA). The UNRSF was established in 2018 as a UN Multi-Partner Trust Fund to support the implementation of road safety-related SDGs.


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