The Africa Transport and Connectivity Task Force met on 14 March in Brussels to share perspectives on how to improve road safety, particularly in the African continent, and to strengthen the partnership between the European Union and the African Union in this strategic area. Both African and European participants will have the chance to evaluate the road safety situation in the African continent and share good practices and approaches that were effective in the European context.
The recently established Task Force's objectives are to support pan-African connectivity, boost public and private investment in the African transport network and identify and assist with structural reforms in the transport sector. Overall, the initiative focusses on three key areas –air transport, connectivity and road safety – and is part of the new 'Africa-Europe Alliance for Sustainable Investment and Jobs' announced by President Juncker at his State of the Union speech in 2018. Safer roads mean better connectivity and creating easier conditions for smart, safe and sustainable transport, facilitating economic activity as a whole.
Therefore today's meeting marks a next step towards achieving the central objectives of the Africa-Europe Alliance to boost investment and creating jobs in Africa. Commissioner for Transport, Violeta Bulc said: "Every life counts. Road crashes are one of the leading causes of death and serious injuries globally. No nation or continent is spared. I hope today's first round of discussions between African and European stakeholders will pave the way for engaging exchange of experiences, and best practices, so we can learn together and make progress towards safe roads for all. Each fatality, each serious injury has a life-changing impact on individuals, on families and also on economies of these countries. By joining forces, I am convinced we can deliver on Vision Zero globally, the long-term goal of moving close to zero fatalities and serious injuries".
Commissioner for International Cooperation and Development, Neven Mimica, said: "Improving Africa's road safety is a double-win: it would not only save lives, but also positively impact the continent's development through better connectivity and trade, as well as boost jobs and sustainable growth. This is precisely the kind of win-win our Africa-Europe Alliance is all about."