On November 13, 2018, Zoleka Mandela, ministers of transport from a dozen African countries, and our partners joined us onstage at the 1st African Road Safety Forum in Marrakech to launch Un grand pas en avant: Un programme d’action pour la sécurité piétonnière des enfants d’Afrique, our new report on child safety, directed toward Francophone Africa.
In her moving opening speech to the forum, Mandela, who lost her 13-year-old daughter Zenani to a drunk driver, said: “As a mother standing here, I represent the thousands upon thousands of families who have suffered the scourge of road traffic injury.”
Mandela continued: “The roads on our continent are still the most dangerous in the world. All around us enforcement and implementation are inadequate. Our roads are unsafe. Each day, new roads are being built which lack basic safety measures. If there’s a crash, instead of being protected, you will be punished with a death sentence.
“Most unforgivable, millions of children are exposed every day on the roads. We fail to provide them with a safe journey to school. I would like ministers, mayors, heads of agencies here in Africa to look their own families in the eye and explain how keeping them safe is not a priority.”
The report includes fresh research and photos by Edward Echwalu from several Francophone African countries where children are exposed to excessive risk on the roads. It gives examples of low-cost interventions proven to reduce injury and provides practical action plans that contribute to the Global Goals and the Housing and Sustainable Urban Development (Habitat III) New Urban Agenda.
As with all our work, the report outlines methods that can be adapted and applied right now, most anywhere in the developing world. We encourage you to share the report with French-speaking schools, news outlets, governments, and health and safety organizations.