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The 11th General Assembly of the West African Road Safety Organisation (WARSO) occurred last week with a concluding recommendation that all member states establish synergies with iRAP for road safety assessments and capacity building to eliminate high-risk roads, and towards the creation of a WARSORAP for the region.

Held from July 3 to 5 in Conakry, Republic of Guinea, the Assembly created significant strides towards regional collaboration and the reaffirmation of commitments to enhance road safety across West Africa.

With the theme “Towards a mid-term review of the UN Decade of Action for Road Safety (2021-2030): Lead Agencies Appraisals”, the event brought together representatives from member states including Benin, Burkina Faso, Ghana, Guinea, Liberia, Mali, Niger, Nigeria, Sierra Leone, Senegal and Togo.

Guinean Ministers Mr Ousmane Gaoual Diallo (Transport) and Mr Bachir Diallo (Security and Civil Protection) highlighted the shared responsibility of all in ensuring effective implementation of national road safety strategies and urged participating agencies to implement ambitious strategies.

This year, the 11th General Assembly focussed on Africa’s road safety action plan, and preparation for the 4th Global Ministerial Conference on Road Safety to be held in Marrakech next February. Representatives from Morocco were in attendance to share information on the African position ahead of the important Ministerial.

Key outcomes of the assembly included publication of the Conakry Declaration with calls for the establishment and prioritised support of dedicated lead agencies in road safety in each member state, and adherence to the United Nations Conventions on Road Safety. The assembly also stressed the importance of data harmonization and public awareness campaigns.

iRAP Safer Journeys Lead for Africa Nathalie Chiavassa and AfricaRAP Lead Racheal Nganwa conducted three training sessions during the event to build capacity in safer roads and mobility, the iRAP methodology and iRAP practice.

Ms Chiavassa said, “This is the first time that iRAP has participated in the WARSO General Assembly and we were delighted to meet with the West African Road Safety Agencies. Promoting safer roads will be essential to reducing the unacceptably high toll of road deaths and injuries in the region.

“We are very excited to work with WARSO and its members states towards establishing a regional Road Assessment Programme to eliminate high-risk roads. This collaboration marks a significant step towards achieving the global road safety targets, aimed at halving road fatalities and injuries by 2030,” she said.

iRAP AfricaRAP Lead Racheal Nganwa

iRAP Safer Journeys Lead for Africa Nathalie Chiavassa

Images credit: Forum News Sierra Leone and iRAP

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