The United Nations and the Ethiopian government have launched an initiative to enhance road safety in Ethiopia.

Under the new initiative, which was launched over the weekend in Ethiopia’s capital, Addis Ababa, the East African country’s road safety performance will be reviewed.

Ethiopia has in recent years witnessed a spike in traffic accidents and loss of human lives.

According to the Ethiopian Transport Authority, 5,118 people were killed in traffic accidents in the country during the 2017/18 Ethiopian fiscal year, which ended on July 8, up from 4,500 of the previous year.

Property damage caused by the accidents is estimated at 31 million U.S. dollars the in the 2017/18 fiscal year.

Gashaw Tenna, a senior adviser to Ethiopia’s transport minister, said at the launching event that the initiative “will greatly help speed up our efforts to reduce fatalities.”

“We need road safety performance review to contextually link our day-to-day traffic control endeavors with high-level plans,” Tenna said.

The initiative was launched under the auspices of the UN Secretary General’s Special Envoy for Road Safety in collaboration with the UN Economic Commission for Africa, Economic Commission for Europe, as well as the government of Ethiopia.

Priti Gautam, Program Management Officer at the UN Secretary General’s Special Envoy for Road Safety, said “the Ethiopian government has shown interest and willingness to make a difference in road safety.”

“The exercise was being done in Ethiopia because it’s located in a continent that suffers from the highest rate of road traffic fatalities in the world,” Gautam said. “Ethiopia ranks 22nd globally, which is high.” Enditem


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