As part of Africa’s 50-year development plan, 42 African countries have agreed to endorse a sustainability framework targeting the continent’s transport sector.
The framework, signed at the Africa Sustainable Transport Forum, calls for increased investment in clean technologies as well as improved transportation supported by low-emission vehicles. This strategy was formally incorporated into Agenda 2063, the continent-wide development plan that aspires for “a prosperous Africa based on inclusive growth and sustainable development.”
According to Achim Steiner, executive director of UNEP, who hosted the event at the organization’s Nairobi headquarters, he agreed that this “will provide the platform for Africa’s decision-makers to share best practices, coordinate sustainable transport efforts and provide focus to development planning”.
In attendance was also UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, who echoed his support for this decision.
“Your commitment to develop and maintain reliable, modern, sustainable and affordable infrastructure in both rural and urban areas is in line with the emerging African Agenda 2063 and the associated Common African Position on the post-2015 development agenda,” said Mr. Ban.
This new strategy could play a role in improving Africa’s air quality, while rendering transit more accessible to millions of people. With urban air pollution on the rise, emissions are rapidly increasing, with figures highlighting air pollution as the leading cause behind 49,000 deaths per year in the sub-Saharan region. Unequal access to transit is also among the many challenges posed to poor and rural people in the region.