Inclusive mobility is an important initiative to directly consider in the initial stages of designing and developing transport and mobility services. Sadly, reports have revealed that there are little or no mobility safety policies for elderly people in our society most especially in Africa which should compel urban developers and transport planners to put key and special consideration during designs.
In view of this, GreenLight Initiative, a Nigerian non-profit organization that promotes good health, safety, sustainable transportation, and environment partners with the Federal University of Technology Owerri and Makerere University, Uganda to implement a safe mobility research project in Nigeria and Uganda.
Reacting to the project, the Executive Director for GreenLight Initiative, Simon Patrick Obi explained that in the year 2022 and beyond, GreenLight Initiative will prioritize evidence, cost-effectiveness, and high impact programs which is why we have partnered with the Federal University of Technology Owerri and Makerere University Uganda to embark on this very important research area. The project will kick start in February 2022 and will be executed within 12 months’ duration. In Nigeria, the study will take place in Abuja while that of Uganda will take place in Kampala City, the main center of economic, industrial, and political activity in Uganda. The project according to Simon will adopt various research methods such as multi-stakeholder dialogues, key informant interviews as well as reviews of relevant data sets and information as regards older people mobility and access in Africa. We thank Volvo Research and Educational Foundation (VREF) for the generous support and donation which allows us to embark on this very important work.
According to Dr. Chinebuli Uzondu, a senior lecturer from the Federal University of Technology Owerri: “It was such a pleasant surprise. I am so thrilled and honoured that we were announced as recipients of a grant from the Volvo Research and Educational Foundation (VREF). This grant will enable us to work on a very important, yet often neglected issue. Our research will explore the mobility needs of the elderly in Nigeria and Uganda, to understand their travel patterns, needs and barriers to active mobility. The goal is to identify country-specific challenges and present evidence-based strategies and recommendations to address and improve the condition. Winning this research grant is important to me because I feel that this award acknowledges the importance of this research and how it will go on to address the issues around transport inequities and exclusions”.
According to Dr. Paul I. Mukwaya, a Senior Lecturer from the Department of Geography, Geo-informatics and Climatic Sciences, Makerere University, Uganda: “Our research will explore the mobility needs of the elderly in Nigeria and Uganda, understand their travel patterns, needs, and barriers to active mobility. Moreover, the proportion of the elderly in our cities is on an upward trend. Consequently, identification of country-specific challenges will generate evidence-based strategies and recommendations to manage the travel needs of the elderly”
Adebayo Stephen, Program Officer GreenLight Initiative