• Crash course

    Crash course

    With a mere two cars per every 1 000 Ethiopians – compared to Africa’s 44-cars-per-1 000-people average – the East African nation has the lowest motorisation rate in the world. In fact, according to the International Organisation of Motor Vehicle Manufacturers, in 2014 just 150 000 vehicles were in use, even though Ethiopia is one of the continent’s most populous countries, with more than 90 million people.

    Ironically, despite the low figures, the country also has one of Africa’s highest road-fatality rates, due largely to a lack of infrastructure such as traffic lights and sidewalks, which poses serious risks for both drivers and pedestrians. Roughly 65% of roads in the capital, Addis Ababa, lack pedestrian walkways, which results in 64 people per 10 000 vehicles dying each year, according to an AFKInsider report.

    In a move to address this, the World Bank has approved a US$300 million loan via its International Development Association, which will see traffic lights and sidewalks being built on selected streets in the city. A portion of the money will also go towards a country-wide database for driver, vehicle and licensing compliance.

    14 June 2016
    Image: Gallo Images/Alamy/Franck Metois