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From left to right: Miguel Angel Serrano Santos, Racheal Nganwa, Mbelwa Kairuki, HRH Prince Michael of Kent, Susanna Zamamtaro, Anouar Benazzouz, Julia Funk. Image Credit: International Road Federation (IRF)

London, 12 December 2023 –The world-first Ten Step Tanzania Project, which has built sustainable institutional capacity, impact, and partnerships to eliminate high-risk roads in Tanzania, has been honoured with a Prince Michael International Road Safety Award today in London.

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 aimed to curb the more than 16,000 people (estimated) who die on Tanzania’s roads each year.

Under the guidance of the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA), the project was implemented by a consortium led by the International Road Federation (IRF) headquartered in Geneva, Switzerland, and made up of the International Road Assessment Programme (iRAP), the World Road Association (PIARC) and the Tanzania Roads Association (TARA). It 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.

The project led to the shaping of a National Training, Accreditation and Certification Scheme to build local capacity for the assessment, audit and design of safer roads. Over 500 road safety stakeholders were trained in how to make Tanzania’s roads safer, and the number of certified Road Safety Auditors and iRAP Accredited practitioners was rapidly expanded. As a result, Tanzania has now been 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 was expanded to more than 10,000 km and associated investment plans were developed to optimise the reduction in road trauma and provide the business case for safer roads at the national and corridor level. They are helping to shape safety recommendations that can influence more than USD$1 billion of development bank-financed transport corridor projects in the country.

Among key milestones delivered by the project were recommendations for a National Road Infrastructure Safety Strategy and Action Plan, and for the revision of the Tanzania Road Geometric Design Manual prioritising the safety of all road users.

TanRAP, a locally owned and led Road Assessment Programme for Tanzania, was also launched led by the Ministry of Works and Transport (MoWT). TanRAP continues 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.

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

Prince Michael International Road Safety Awards are presented to organisations in recognition of their outstanding contribution to improving road safety.

In awarding the Ten Step Project, the judges advised they were “especially impressed by the comprehensive nature of the plan and the involvement of so many organisations in its delivery. It is without doubt an example which should be replicated in other regions”.

Present in London at the award ceremony, Anouar Benazzouz, President of the International Road Federation (IRF) said, “We are delighted to accept this award on behalf of all the project partners. Tanzania made history as the first country in the world to implement the United Nations Road Safety Collaboration (UNRSC) Ten Step Approach. We take immense pride in the project’s achievements and applaud the determination and enthusiasm of the Tanzanian authorities and stakeholders who embraced this opportunity to make Tanzania’s roads safer”.

Mbelwa Kairuki, Tanzania High Commissioner to the United Kingdom, emphasised, “The Ten Step project strengthens our commitment to addressing the pressing issue of road crashes which in 2022 accounted for 6.12% of total deaths in Tanzania. This international recognition acknowledges our collective dedication to making roads safer for everyone and we accept it with great honour and gratitude”.

Robert Lisinge, Chief of the Energy, Infrastructure and Services Section of the Private Sector Development and Finance Division of the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (ECA), expressed, “This collaborative effort exemplifies the impact of collective action on road safety. UNECA is proud to have participated in this transformative initiative, setting a valuable precedent for global endeavours. The project aligns with our commitment to sustainable development and underscores the importance of investing in road safety to save lives and build resilient communities”.

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 project has showcased how the Ten Step Plan can build local capacity and engagement, and deliver rapid life-saving improvements to reduce road trauma”.

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.

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