Improving road safety is a key development priority for Africa. Despite comparatively low motorisation levels, the continent witnesses the world’s highest rate of road traffic fatalities, with approximately 26.6 deaths per 100,000 population (WHO 2018).
The importance and need for better road safety data has been highlighted in the United Nations, African Union and other multilateral resolutions. The latest Road Safety Resolutions, approved by the UN General Assembly specifically recognise the importance of capacity building in this field.
In 2019, the International Road Federation (IRF) and the Global Alliance of NGOs for Road Safety launched the LEARN partnership initiative and piloted the project in Kenya and Senegal. The outcomes of this pilot project were presented at an official side meeting during the 3rd Global Ministerial Conference on Road Safety held in Sweden in February 2020 and raised considerable interest from multilateral partners and stakeholders.
The LEARN initiative was initially funded by the FIA Road Safety Grant Programme and is expected to expand to more countries in Africa through the current funding by Total Foundation.
The LEARN project (Learn, Examine, Apply, Replicate, Network) aims at enhancing the knowledge, skills and actions of a selected group of road safety professionals and stakeholders via hands-on trainings in African countries. While building their data-related knowledge and skills, participants familiarise themselves with a range of tools and techniques that can help drive change and communicate a robust road safety message. The long-term objective is the creation of multi-stakeholder coalitions in these countries to improve road safety policy and action.
The project is inducted with a training workshop, the immediate outcome of which is a joint action plan for the creation and launch of a multi-stakeholder road safety coalition in their respective countries. Upon workshop completion, mentoring continues to support the set-up of country coalitions, staging and show-casing their first concrete coalition data activity outputs.
The project aims at creating a culture where work is delivered in partnership, in a systematic way and with the support of data. The objective is to build an evidence-based case that can be replicated in other African countries and elsewhere. The pilot countries Kenya and Senegal were deliberately chosen as they are representative of two different cultural and linguistic regions. Considering that training resources in French were previously limited, this project will further enable scaling up road safety activities and reach in Cameroon, Togo, alongside
Uganda and Zambia.
Having successfully delivered and evaluated LEARN in Kenya and Senegal, IRF and the Alliance, with the generous support of the Total Foundation, will scale up LEARN in the next two years by rolling out the project in four more countries in Africa (Cameroon, Togo, Uganda, Zambia) and also support the in-country coalitions already established in Kenya and Senegal to implement their joint action plans while building ownership to sustain the coalition activities that are driven by the local needs and realities.
SECUROUTE is the local road safety NGO responsible for coordinating the LEARN activities in Cameroon including communication and engagement with local stakeholders, workshop logistics and creating a sustainability strategy for the in-country LEARN coalition.
The first workshop took place as a webinar from 8th to 9th july 2021 with IRF, Global Alliance and twenty stakeholders in Cameroon.