STAY SAFE: National Road Safety Council chairperson Eliphas !Owos-Ôab and transport ministry executive director Esther Kaapanda. Photo: ELLANIE SMIT
STAY SAFE: National Road Safety Council chairperson Eliphas !Owos-Ôab and transport ministry executive director Esther Kaapanda. Photo: ELLANIE SMIT

Namibia receives road safety award

Ellanie Smit
Namibia has been recognised for its trailblazing leadership in the rectification of the African Road Safety Charter, and has been conferred the Kofi Annan Road Safety Award.

At its official presentation, transport ministry executive director Esther Kaapanda said this type of recognition shows that road safety in the country has evolved over the past 15 years.

“This evolution is notable in terms of development strategies and aligning and adoption of international standards which supported this growth trajectory within the road safety sub-sector.”

The African Road Safety Charter came into effect on 1 February 2019 in Namibia.

According to her, its main objectives are to serve as the continent’s principal road safety policy in the quest for a road safety-friendly environment.

The charter further seeks to - among other things - stimulate the formulation of comprehensive road safety policies and legal instruments at national level, ensure improved road safety governance and foster coordination and involvement of stakeholders in road safety activities across the continent.

“The conferment and receipt of the award serve as further impetus for us to fully implement the provisions and aspirations of the charter.”

She said the ministry must therefore do everything in its power to have the hurdles to the enactment of the Road Safety Management Bill removed, as such enactment will make Namibia fully compliant with the provisions of the charter.

Monumental

Meanwhile, National Road Safety Council (NRSC) chairperson Eliphas !Owos-Ôab said he considers the award monumental in the country’s road safety management as it showcases what can be achieved through hard work and determination.

“The bestowal of the award means nothing in itself. What lies ahead is for Namibia to religiously put the aspirations of the charter into practice. The journey to improve road safety performance is long and costly.”

He further called upon the ministry to resolve the outstanding impediments towards the enactment of the Bill, which will pave the way for a systematic road safety strategy execution.

The NRSC received the award on behalf of all Namibian road safety stakeholders, which had already been awarded in 2021 and could only be presented this year due to challenges related to Covid-19.

The award is named after the late United Nations secretary-general in recognition of his contribution to road safety.

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Namibian Sun 2022-12-04

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