According to a report released by Federal Transport Authority (FTA) of Ethiopia in June 2017, 16,000 have lost their lives due to traffic accidents over the past three years, and 50,000 sustained physical injuries. Globally, over 1.25 million people die each year as a result of road traffic crashes.
According to United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goal 3, SDG 3, it states that: by 2030, “ENSURE HEALTHY LIVES AND PROMOTE WELL BEING FOR ALL AT ALL AGES.”
With the several targets aligned in the SDG 3 as stated above, Ethiopia as a country is choosing to realize “Target 3.6” of SDG 3. The target states that: “By 2020, halve global deaths and injuries from road traffic accidents”
What is the issue at hand with road safety in Ethiopia?
The report further revealed that over 69% of traffic accidents in Ethiopia were caused by the negligence of the drivers. In the capital, there are over a million driver licenses holders, which accounts for over 75% of the country's car population. In 2017, about 62,000 people obtained a driver's license, a 13.6% rise compared to the preceding year.
What Ethiopia is doing as a country?
Over USD 10 million is being directed towards constructing an 11 –storey Transport Management & Traffic Safety Training Institute by the “Federal Transport Authority” of Ethiopia.
On completion, the training institute will reside inside the compound of Drivers & Mechanics Training Centre located in Kality, north of Addis Ababa, commonly known as Maseltegna.
For the construction, the Public Procurement & Property Disposal Services (PPPDS) of Ethiopia already announced a tender on behalf of the Authority on February 27, 2018.
The building will be comprised of classrooms, offices, a dormitory, library, research centers, and cafeterias for which during the opening of the bid on April 24, 2018, 14 companies submitted their financial and technical documents out of the 36 firms that bought the bidding document to construct the Institute.
Tekleberhan Ambaye, Flintstone Engineering, Dugda, Bereket Endeshaw, GI GA and Giga and BGM have submitted their offers to build the Institute that was designed by Ethiopian Construction Design & Supervision Works Corporation for two million Birr. Lucy Engineering, S.A, Eyad, Tilahun Abebe, Buelcon and Beha construction companies are the remaining companies that are vying for the project that will lie on 19ha of a plot.
What will the institute offer on completion?
The institute will provide close to 10 short-term pieces of training. Training like road safety, traffic management and will enroll driver trainers, transport officers, traffic police and transport control officers.
“The institute will built with the aim of reducing traffic accidents and improving road safety,” said Yohannes Bekele, corporate Works deputy director at Federal Transport Authority. “Old buildings and poor facilities were our snags preventing us from providing adequate and quality trainings.”
These drivers got the licenses from the 60 plus driver and mechanic training centres operating in Addis Abeba, who have about 519 training vehicles. The trainees received practical lessons at the four driver and mechanic training complexes located in Alembank, Korke, Kaliti and Summit.
What has been happening of recent?
At the beginning of the current fiscal year, a bill for drivers’ qualification certification was tabled by the Ministry of Transport and legislated by parliament, with 67 votes of rejection and 30 abstain. Age and academic background of drivers, a minimum of a tenth-grade level education, was the core of the controversy.
Fekadu Gurmessa (PhD), a lecturer of Transport Geography at Addis Abeba University (AAU), applauds the attempt of the government. But he notes auxiliary efforts are required to make the Institute efficient.
“Although the institutional structure is a great start, the curriculum design, the training that will be provided, and the expertise and experience level of the trainers must also be taken into consideration,” Fekadu stressed.
What is your take on this particular issue? Will it be of positive impact?
By Joseph Semuju
Community Manager - AMO
African Mobilities Observatory - AMO, MICHELIN.