The maiden edition of the Kofi Annan Road Safety Award was held in Accra yesterday to give recognition to countries that have made outstanding contribution to road safety in Africa over the past decade.
The ceremony honoured governments that performed well during the United Nations (UN) Decade of Action for Road Safety between 2011 and 2020.
Ghana was honoured with the award of Excellence in the implementation of the Africa Road Safety Action Plan while South Africa won the award of Leadership in Mobilising Resources for Road Safety
Nigeria won the Excellence in Road Safety Management award, with the Leadership in Road Safety Data Management and the Leadership in the Ratification of the Africa Road Safety Charter awards going to the Kingdom of Morocco and Namibia respectively
President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, who presented the awards, described road accidents as a global pandemic and public health issue that must be addressed.
He stressed the need for the award ceremony to be sustained to encourage governments on the continent to learn from global best practices.
The President urged countries on the continent to develop and implement innovative initiatives to address road accidents.
Road Safety, according to the President, was the bedrock to the development of the continent and called for all stakeholders to work together to make the roads safe.
“Let us be inspired by these awards and drive positive changes in our respective countries,” President Akufo-Addo said and expressed the government’s commitment to invest in improving the legislative, institutional and logistical capacity of Ghana to address road accidents
The Minister of Transport, KwakuOforiAsiamah, also in an address, described road accidents as a global pandemic, considering the number of deaths recorded from road accidents around the world.
He stressed the need to create a road safety culture in Ghana by designing and constructing safe roads, and educating the public on the road safety.
The Minister said the maiden awards ceremony aimed to motivate the key stakeholders in road safety and called for a proactive approach to address the problem to save lives.
The wife of the late Kofi Annan, MrsNane Maria Annan, in a video address, called for a strong commitment at the political level to ensure safety on roads.
She urged the public to get involved in the fight for road safety to curtail the carnages on roads.
BY YAW KYEI