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Country Visit to Ethiopia

Ethiopia: Located in the Horn of Africa, Ethiopia is considered to be a low-income country and second-most populous country in Sub-Saharan Africa with a population of 97 million people. The country suffers from an estimated 25,837 road traffic fatalities annually (WHO). According to the Ethiopian Federal Police commission, the road traffic mortality rate has increased by more than 60% between 2009 and 2013.

The WHO reports that the country has strong laws on two of the top five risk factors: seat-belt and child restraints. However, the laws covering other risk factors, such as speed limits, drink driving, and helmet use remain weak and need to be enforced. Key vehicle standards are also not addressed. Ethiopia is not a contracting party to any of the UN Road Safety Conventions.
From 24-25 August 2016, the Special Envoy met with the below stakeholders in Ethiopia:
Mr. Mulatu Teshome, President of Ethiopia
Special Envoy provided an overview of his mandate and of the global momentum currently being built around improved road safety, specifically the Decade of Action on Road Safety and the Sustainable Development Goals. He reminded the President that road injuries are the number one killer of the 15-29 year olds around the world and that in Ethiopia, road crashes take the lives of too many. The President of Ethiopia recognized that the need to hold higher priority on the issue and shared about the improvements that have been made and plans to continue improving road infrastructure. The Special Envoy recommended enforcement of road safety laws covering main risk factors (speed, drink driving, motorcycle helmet use, seat belt and child restraint use).
Ms. Ahunna Eziakonwa-Onochie, UN Resident Coordinator in Ethiopia
The UN Resident Coordinator provided an overview of challenges that Ethiopia is currently facing, including major food shortage and insecurity. The Special Envoy explained of the long-term importance of advocating for road safety in spite of these other challenges. Providing global and local road traffic fatality data and the recent developments to address road safety globally (UNGA resolution, SDGs and the Decade of Action for Road Safety), the Special Envoy underline the importance of accession to the UN Road Safety Conventions to which Ethiopia has not acceded.
United Nations Economic Commission for Africa

Mr. Adballa Hamdok introduced the activities of the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa, the role of the organization and its relationship with the African Union. The ECA has worked with stakeholders to develop and monitor the African Road Safety Action plan and organizes yearly meetings with Ministers of Transport to address the major priority outlined in the African Road Safety Action Plan. The Special Envoy expressed support of the Road Safety Action Plan and reiterated his interest in building capacity in the region with a road safety workshop being planned for December 2016. The Special Envoy encouraged that ECA advocate for the accession to the UN Road Safety Conventions to which Ethiopia is not a contracting party.

o Mr. Adballa Hamdok, Deputy Executive Secretary

o Mr. Stephen Karingi, Director of Regional Integration and Trade Division

o Mr. Soteri Gatera, Regional Integration and Trade Division

o Mr. Robert Lisinge, Regional Integration and Trade Division Mr. Peter Mundala, Regional Integration and Trade Division

o Ms. Mahlet Girma, Regional Integration and Trade Division

o Mr. Yonas Bekele, Regional Integration and Trade Division
UN Country Team 

The UN Country Team gave a summary of the current situation in the country and highlighted issues such as improvement of UN transport fleet safety. The Special Envoy provided an overview of this mandate, the global momentum that is being built around road safety, the potential UN Road Safety Fund and of his conversation with the President and ECA. The Special Envoy shared about his support for an internal UN road safety working group which is advocating for improved road safety in UN operations. The Special Envoy also highlighted the need for a better data collection system in the region.

o Mr. George Okutho, International Labour Organization, Director

o Mr. Janvier Wussinu, UNDP, Deputy Director

o Mr. Marco Smoliner UN Department of Safety and Security, Security Adviser

o Mr. Fassil Shirefaw, WHO, Acting Team Leader

o Mr. Dereje Muluneh, UNICEF, Health Specialist

o Mr. Abdalmughni Nofal, UNCDF, Regional Technical Advisor

o Mr. Stephen Kargbo, UNIDO, Industrial Development Officer

o Mr. Hibret Asegid, UNOPS, Human Resources Associate

o Mr. Sileshi Mekonnen, IOM, Security Assistant

o Mr. Wondwosen Alemayehu, IOM, Logistics/Fleet Assistant