Chakwera Encouraged to Attend UN Summit on Road Safety

Chakwera earmarked for the Summit Chakwera earmarked for the Summit - file photo

President Lazarus Chakwera has been encouraged to attend the first ever UN High Level Summit on Global Road Safety in New York where he should commit to adopt the 2030 Agenda of striving to reduce accidents by 50 percent.

The summit is expected to take place from 30 June through 1 July 2022 where leaders will also commit to increase road safety funding and implement the 30 Km/h speed limit in busy areas.

The local UN affiliated Road Safety Alert Foundation (ROSAF) Executive Director, Joel Jere, told Zodiak Online on Sunday that the summit would give the president or his delegation opportunity to strike deals with key stakeholders in road construction industry, such as the World bank.

At the summit, President Chakwera is among others, expected to declare that Malawi will increase road safety funding to ensure improved and safer road environment capable of reducing accidents.

Jere is observing that failure to avail themselves is more like killing the future of road network in the country and also implementation of road programmes which can save lives.

"This is the good time that Malawi should not stay behind. It should be there and show that we are equally concerned. And also another important area is that most of the key stakeholders who support road construction projects will be there. We are taking of World Bank, UN and other NGOs. All these people would love to partner with us as a country. They would also love to do their projects in Malawi.

"So the availability of our President or sending a delegation, it shows the seriousness," Jere said.

It is estimated that road accidents are causing deaths and injuries to around 62, 000 lives in the country annually, with a direct financial cost of US$404 million.

Presidential Press Secretary, Anthony Kasunda, referred us to Foreign Affairs Spokesperson John Kabaghe who was not immediately available for comment.

But, President Lazarus Chakwera has before committed to improve road infrastructure in the country as a means of reducing road accidents which have claimed hundreds of lives.

Meanwhile, the Foundation has also lined up preparatory engagements on road safety with stakeholders including ministers and a big walk on Monday in Mwanza ahead of the summit.

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