The World Bank on Friday approved a $300 million International Development Association (IDA) credit towards improving mobility in AddisAbaba and road safety throughout Ethiopia.
The Transport Systems Improvement Project fund is divided between the following components: Traffic Management and Road Safety in the City of Addis Ababa ($190.10 million), improvement of Integrated Urban Planning and Transport System ($2.80 million), and Road Safety Interventions and Institutional Strengthening of Selected Federal Transport Institutions ($107.10 million).
Ethiopia ranks the eighth worst country in Africa in road injuries and deaths. About 64 people per 10, 000 vehicles die on Ethiopian roads annually; and 65 per cent of the roads in Addis Ababa lack pedestrian walkways.
There are also concerns about how traffic is managed in the Ethiopian capital with congestion worsening though the number of vehicles operating in the city being relatively lower compared to cities of similar size.
The countrywide project will involve expanding the existing traffic signal and control system; improving conditions for pedestrians;modernizing the operations of Anbessa City Bus Enterprise; building the operational and managerial capacity and efficiency of transport agencies in dealing with urbanization; supporting the adoption of best practice methods of driver training and testing; and establishing a secure database for driver and vehicle licensing.
“By helping to ease traffic congestion and develop a modern public transport system, this project will enable Addis Ababa to remain a great city in which to live and to do business,” said Carolyn Turk, World Bank Country Director for Ethiopia.
The World Bank’s IDA was established in 1960 to help the world’s poorest countries secure grants and low to zero-interest loans for development projects and programs. Its annual commitments have averaged about $19 billion the last three years, with half going to Africa.