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Mainstreaming road safety in the regional integration of the East African Community to reduce road traffic injuries

Joseph K. Balikuddembe
Davoud Khorasani-Zavareh
Paul Sinclair
Kasiima Stephen
Ali Ardalan
Amir Nejati


The East African Community (EAC) comprising of five states: Burundi, Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania and Uganda bear a disproportionate burden of the global public health burden for road traffic injuries (RTIs). In response to this, each state has devised its own road safety measures, but not at the EAC level. This paper aims to explore how differing road safety policies could be aligned as part of EAC regional integration so that they become one mainstream policy in the EAC. This is done after exploring the rate of RTIs; the existing road safety initiatives; and the impact of RTIs on the EAC integration in the four EAC states excluding Burundi. A desk-based review of data and information from different sources between 2009 and 2015 for Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania and Uganda was conducted. This revealed that the rate of RTIs in the four EAC states significantly exceeds the African and global average rates. This is associated with large numbers of fatalities, debilitating injuries and economic costs which hamper the EAC integration–especially its main pillar of a common market. All the four states have independently adopted different road safety laws and policies in line with the United Nations Decade of Action for Road Safety initiative. A unified road safety policy and road safety lead agency for the EAC as a whole is urgently needed. This should be based on cooperation and commitment, and take into account the region’s

geopolitical dynamics.

Keywords: Road safety, road traffic injuries, regional integration, East African Community

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eISSN: 1728-774X