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General News
African Road Safety conference opens 2/6/2007
Accra, Feb. 5, GNA - Mr Magnus Opare-Asamoah, Deputy Minister of Transportation, on Monday reiterated Government''s commitment to improving road transport as a vehicle for enhancing socio-economic development and poverty reduction.

It is in this connection that the Government had in the past six years devoted a chunk of resources to construct and maintain the roads, he said.

For instance in 2006, the Government used about 33 per cent of the total national investment budget on road construction and maintenance. Speaking at the opening of the African Road Safety Conference, Mr Opare-Asamoah said safety remained a key consideration in the development and use of road infrastructure and transport services in the country''s quest to achieve national development agenda of a middle income status of 1,000 dollars per capita by 2015.

Participants at the three-day conference would review progress made by countries on the Continent to improve road safety and also to reduce carnage on the roads.

About 200 stakeholders and 25 Ministers of Transport, Health and The Interior from Africa would attend the conference, which would also seek to advance the development of national action plans for road safety for countries in the Region and plan the implementation of recommendations of the World Report on Traffic Injury Prevention and the African Road Safety Initiative.

Mr Opare-Asamoah said although the country had made significant strides in dealing with road traffic accidents, the country was not out of the woods yet.

The road traffic accident fatality rate has reduced from 40.7 in 1998 to 19 at the end of 2005.

Mr Opare-Asamoah said in collaboration with other stakeholders, the Ministry was seriously tackling the road safety challenge through education; enforcement of traffic regulations; engineering through the identification and improvement of hazardous spots and the training of drivers.

He said road safety auditing at the feasibility, design, construction and post-construction stages were now major components of road programmes.

Mr Albert Kan-Dapaah, Minister of The Interior, said governments on the Continent must put road safety at the centre of their countries'' development agenda.

He said the high fatality rates called for strategic planning to achieve sustainable action.

The conference is being held on the theme: "Road Safety and the Millennium Development Goals: Reducing the Rate of African Fatalities by Half by 2015."Source:

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