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Dar es Salaam, 2 March 2023 – Capacity to eliminate high-risk roads and curb the more than 16,000 people (WHO 2018) who die on Tanzania’s roads annually has taken a leap thanks to the innovative Tanzania Ten Step Plan Project, celebrated at a completion event in Dar es Salaam today.

Jointly funded by the United Nations Road Safety Fund (UNRSF) and the Foreign Commonwealth and Development Office (UKAid), through the Global Road Safety Facility (GRSF) of the World Bank, the 30-month pilot project has built sustainable institutional capacity for safer roads, as well as impact and partnerships to save lives and reduce serious injuries resulting from road crashes. 

Under the guidance of the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA), the project has been implemented by a consortium led by the International Road Federation (IRF), and including the International Road Assessment Programme (iRAP), the World Road Association (PIARC) and the Tanzania Roads Association (TARA). It has brought together the Government of Tanzania through the Ministry of Works and Transport (MoWT), Tanzania National Roads Agency (TANROADS), Tanzania Rural and Urban Roads Agency (TARURA), Roads Fund Board, National Institute of Transport (NIT), as well as other leading institutions, road safety NGOs and industry stakeholders in Tanzania. 

Launched at the 1st National Safer Road Infrastructure Workshop in March 2021, the project has helped to embed improvements in how thousands of new and existing kilometres of Tanzania’s road network will be designed, upgraded, and managed for improved road safety now and in the future. 

The project has led to the shaping of Infrastructure Training, Accreditation and Certification Scheme to build local capacity for the assessment, audit and design of safer roads. More than 500 road safety stakeholders have been trained in how to make Tanzania’s roads safer, and the number of certified Road Safety Auditors and iRAP Accredited practitioners has been rapidly expanded, to the level that Tanzania is now ranked second in the world in terms of iRAP Accreditation.  

Thanks to the assessments performed during the project – using the global iRAP methodology –infrastructure safety has now been expanded to more than 10,000 km. The methodology provides an objective measure of the level of safety ‘built-in’ to the road for vehicle occupants, motorcyclists, bicyclists, and pedestrians from 1-star (least safe) to 5-stars (most safe). Associated investment plans optimise the reduction in road trauma and provide the business case for safer roads at the national and corridor level. 

Field data collection and workshops performed have given opportunities to demonstrate knowledge and skills acquired during the project and helped shape safety recommendations that can influence more than USD$1 billion of development bank-financed transport corridor projects in the country. 

Recommendations for a National Road Infrastructure Safety Strategy and Action Plan that puts the safety of all road users at its heart and the recommendations for the revision of the Tanzania Road Geometric Design Manual are among the key milestones delivered by the Project. These will ensure that safety is optimised right from the start, before construction commences. 

A key achievement of the project, TanRAP, a locally owned and led Road Assessment Programme for Tanzania, was launched in September 2022 as an initiative led by the Ministry of Works and Transport (MoWT). It aims to build capacity, develop evidence-based policy and improve the safety of road infrastructure through results-based financing in the country in partnership with other leading stakeholders such as PO-RALG, RFB, TANROADS, TARURA, TARA, NIT, Road Safety Ambassadors (RSA), development banks, mobility clubs, road safety NGOs and industry. 

Represented by Hon. Saad Mtambule, District Commissioner, the Hon. Prof. Makame M. Mbarawa (MP), The Minister for Works and Transport, Tanzania and Guest of Honour recognised the dedicated collaboration of many national and international partners who have made Tanzania the very first country in the world to implement the United Nations Road Safety Collaboration (UNRSC) Ten Step Approach for Safer Road Infrastructure.  

“Road safety is the leading cause of death for children and young adults aged 5-29 years. We have a moral obligation to act and to reverse this trend and the Ten Step Project has equipped us with the knowledge, skills and tools to do so. We feel proud for this privilege and for the results that these 30 months of collective work have delivered,” he said.  

Hon. Saad Mtambule, District Commissioner, Kinondoni (Image credit: iRAP)

Susanna Zammataro, Director General of the International Road Federation (IRF) said, “We have been delighted to work with the Tanzanian authorities and other stakeholders in the country who are truly committed to the road safety cause. Tanzania has now a solid coalition of partners within and outside the government who are determined, skilled, and equipped with what is needed to save thousands of lives now and in the future”. 

Rob McInerney, CEO of the International Road Assessment Programme (iRAP) said, “Through the Ten Step Project, Tanzania has become an inspiration to other countries around the world. The success of the local Tanzanian partners in implementing the Ten Step Plan has showcased how the partnership can deliver rapid life-saving improvements in road safety capacity and performance.  The locally-led TanRAP programme that is now in place will join more than 100 countries worldwide who are all committed to eliminating high-risk roads and sharing knowledge and success on the way to achieving the 2030 targets.” 

“Making Tanzania free of high-risk roads should be everyone’s priority! I’d like to take this opportunity to thank the Tanzanian Government, all the agencies and all the stakeholders who have worked jointly over the past 30 months to deliver the achievements we are all celebrating today” commented Robert Lisinge, Chief, Energy, Infrastructure and Services Section, Private Sector Development and Finance Division, United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA). 

Project results and ongoing TanRAP activity will support implementation in Tanzania of the Global Plan for the Decade of Action for Road Safety 2021-2030 which provides a road map for how countries can halve road deaths and serious injuries by 2030. 

Achieving greater than 75 per cent of travel on 3-star or better roads for all road users by 2030 stands to save 1.6 million lives and serious injuries over the 20-year life of treatments in Tanzania with an economic benefit of $26 for every $1 spent.  

See the final event video:

See TimesMajira Tv’s coverage of the event including interviews with Hon. Saad Mtambule, District Commissioner and local dignatories (In Swahili):

(Video credit: TimesMajira Tv)

The following images were captured in coverage by Joe Mushi, Thehabarii:

An expert on road issues from the Road Fund Board (RFB), Eng. Rashid Kalimbaga signing a cooperation agreement to ensure road safety is considered (Image credit: Thehabarii)

Head of Kinondoni District, Mr. Saad Mtambule handing over accident control strategy documents to the Director of Roads from the Ministry of Construction and Transport, Eng. Alois Matei (Image credit: Thehabarii)

Director of the International Road Federation (IRF), Ms. Suzan Zammataro speaking at the event (Image credit: Thehabarii)

Assistant Director of Roads from the Ministry of Construction and Transport, Eng. John Ngowi shared the potential of strategic investment in safer road infrastructure at the Final Event in Dar es Salaam (Image credit: Thehabarii)

National stakeholders gathered at the event (Image credit: Thehabarii)

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The International Road Assessment Programme (iRAP) is a Registered Charity with UN ECOSOC Consultative Status.
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