Recently, the UN Economic Commission for Africa and the UN Economic Commission for Europe published the findings of the Road Safety Performance Review conducted at the request of the Ugandan government. It is one of two performance reviews conducted at the end of 2017 in Uganda and Cameroon, as part of an Africa-wide initiative to help national governments to identify their most critical road safety priorities and the necessary actions required.
The performance review found that Uganda has the necessary rules and regulations governing road safety and the transport sector in general but more enforcement is needed. It warned that unless interventions are implemented, road crashes are likely to increase not decrease in the next decade.
The report called on the Ugandan government to improve capacity for road safety actors within the country to enable them to address the road crash challenge and to provide technical, financial, and political commitment to incorporate road safety into road transport infrastructure.
Several Alliance members were involved in the performance review as representatives of civil society, including Safe Way Right Way, URRENO, and HOVITA. Safe Way Right Way was referenced in the report for a study it did on black spots on the northern corridor and their driver training program.
Alliance NGOs are also partners to the actions recommended in the report. In particular, URRENO are named as a partner to the government in improving road safety education in primary schools through the roll out/relaunch of a road safety curriculum.
While the performance review presents a stark picture of the gaps in Ugandan road safety, it also offers an opportunity: a clear measurable set of recommendations that the government and its partners, including NGOs, can work to. For NGOs, a number of which have already been a part of the consultation process, the opportunity exists to be a part of the solution, partnering with government, and maintaining the accountability of stakeholders to implement the recommendations.
Fred Tumwine, URRENO, is positive about the effect of the performance review. He says, “The government is willing to implement the recommendations. For example, on closing the review workshop, the minister highlighted the action plan to implement road safety interventions and he requested the UN to build the capacity of road safety actors to fulfill the targets. The review will help us in our work because our activities will have a reference to the review and our approach to engage the government will change.” Fred also notes that the government’s commitment has been demonstrated by the availing of funds for a crash data program.
Sam Bambanza, HOVITA, echoes this, “The government committed itself to become a contracting party to the United Nations Road Safety Conventions and the process is to start immediately. The review will help us but as civil society organizations, we shall continue with our advocacy regarding this review’s recommendations.”
Read the report HERE.