The Kingdom of Morocco hosted the second edition of the Kofi Annan Road Safety Award in Marrakech on 25 and 26 September 2023. Held on the theme, “Digital Transformation and Innovations for Safer Roads”, the event was jointly organised by the Ministry of Transport and Logistics of Morocco, the National Road Safety Agency (NARSA), the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (ECA), the United Nations Secretary-General’s Special Envoy for Road Safety and the Kofi Annan Foundation.
“Kofi Annan’s vision and determination to raise awareness of this terrible hidden pandemic paved the way for significant advancements in road safety policies and initiatives. His legacy serves as a testament to what can be achieved through strong leadership for positive change on a global scale.”
– Jean Todt, UN Secretary-General’s Special Envoy for Road Safety
The 2023 Kofi Annan Road Safety Award event took place against the backdrop of a devastating earthquake that hit Marrakesh and the neighbouring region on September 8th and was seen as a demonstration of solidarity by the regional and global community for the resilience of the Moroccan government and its people.
The 2023 Kofi Annan Road Safety Award winners
- Innovation, particularly in digitalization: Ministry of Transports – Côte d’Ivoire;
- Road safety management: Ministry of Public Works and Transport – Kingdom of Eswatini;
- Data management: Ministry of Living Environment and Transport, responsible for Sustainable Development – Republic of Benin;
- Safer vehicles: Ministry of Infrastructure – Republic of Rwanda;
- Public transportation/Modal shift: Ministry of Transport and Logistics – Republic of Ethiopia;
- Communication (Private sector, NGOs, Academia, Ministry of Transports, CEO – SECUROUTE) – Cameroun;
- Road Safety / Honor Award: NARSA – Morocco.
Recognising and Motivating Key Stakeholders
The Kofi Annan Road Safety Award aims to motivate key stakeholders – Governments, the private sector and civil society organisations – to develop and implement innovative and exceptional initiatives to save lives on African roads. This goal is aligned with the objective set by the United Nations General Assembly to reduce deaths and serious injuries linked to road accidents worldwide by 2030. This objective is taken up by the African strategic directions for the Decade of Action on Road Safety 2021-2030, adopted by the African Union in 2021. The award also aims to recognise the late Kofi Annan’s significant contributions to road safety, to inspire leadership, and to mobilise influential individuals to address the road safety crisis, particularly in Africa.
Mr Jean Todt, the United Nations Secretary-General’s Special Envoy for Road Safety, stressed: “Kofi Annan’s vision and determination to raise awareness of this terrible hidden pandemic paved the way for significant advancements in road safety policies and initiatives. His legacy serves as a testament to what can be achieved through strong leadership for positive change on a global scale. The Kofi Annan Road Safety Award is a crucial platform to recognise and celebrate those implementing innovative solutions to address this crisis in the most affected region.”
The Kofi Annan Road Safety Award recognises governments, the private sector, civil society, other organisations, and individuals who have made outstanding contributions to road safety in Africa. The award’s second edition specifically praises governments that have implemented serious measures and actions to achieve the objectives of the second UN Decade of Action for Road Safety 2021-2030, aiming to halve road deaths by 2030.
Recognising Outstanding Road Safety Practices in Africa
Mr Antonio Pedro, Acting Executive Secretary of the ECA, reiterated the need for African countries to step up their road safety efforts considerably to stand any chance of halving road deaths by 2030. “Countries need to strengthen their road safety management capacity and use innovative technologies to significantly reduce road deaths on the continent. That is why it is important to recognise African governments and organisations that distinguish themselves through outstanding practices in road safety,” he added.
The selection criteria for the award winners include several basics of the global and regional action plans on road safety, such as road safety management, innovation in road safety fields, reliable data management systems, effective communication efforts for the prevention of collisions due to road accidents and national funding for road safety.