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30 October 2014

Africa Sustainable Transport Forum 2014

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From macro-economic opportunities and efficiencies in the transport of goods to delivery of social services and ensuring overall well-being, the role that transport plays in development is undeniable.

Thus sustainable transport not only plays a crucial role in mainstreaming the green economy, but also achieving sustainable development goals.

In light of this the United Nations Environmental Program hosted the Africa Sustainable Transport Forum from 27 – 31 October 2014 in Nairobi, Kenya. Within the forum is the Experts Conference on Sustainable Transport in Africa, which provided the platform for policy dialogue and knowledge sharing among various stakeholders from across the continent, with the view of instituting an action plan. Outcomes of these two-day deliberations will be fed into the ministerial session taking place on 30 October 2014. This high-level event will be opened by the President of Kenya H.E. Mr. Uhuru Kenyatta and UN Secretary General Mr. Ban Ki Moon.

Workshops and side meetings were also conducted to further enhance capacity on sustainable transport in the region.

Non-motorized training workshop 

Among the events that took place on 27 October 2014 is a training workshop on non-motorised transport (NMT). It opened with introductory overviews on sustainable transport in Africa, followed by a presentation on Share the Road Programme as an on-going initiative that supports walking and cycling at the national level.

The University of Twente led the training workshop primarily with a discussion on the shift from mobility and accessibility. Whereas the former pertains to movement alone, accessibility pertains to the ease by which one can reach their destination. Potential indicators that can be used to measure accessibility was then presented. These were discussed in the context of positive externalities that NMT has in securing overall social well-being, such as safety, health, and the environment. Having established these co-benefits, the afternoon training focused on the necessary components for implementation: policy instruments, interventions, and awareness-raising. Participants were then divided into two groups to brainstorm various options, making for a rich discussion.

Watch this space for further developments on the Africa Sustainability Forum.

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