Mr. Simon Patrick Obi, GreenLight Executive Director was one of the 5 young people invited across the globe to speak at the 2nd World Youth Assembly on Road Safety in Sweden, a global gathering of young people to shape the future of road safety. The assembly was the official pre-event of the 3rd Global Ministerial Conference on Road Safety. He spoke to over 160+ young delegates representing 75 countries on the Africa Road Safety Situation. Mr. Simon also attended the 3rd Global Ministerial Conference on Road Safety where he presented the Global Youth Statement to the Nigeria Minister of Transport and Minister of Health.
Read below Mr. Simon opening statement during the 2nd World Youth Assembly on Road Safety
Dear champions, I’ll like to call you champions because that is what you all are
It gives me great pleasure and honor to stand before you to discuss the road safety regional situation of the African Region at this 2nd World Youth Assembly on Road Safety. Indeed there is nothing nobler than saving lives
Sadly, Africa and the entire other Low and Middle-Income countries bear the highest brunt of road traffic fatalities despite accounting to only 1% of the world’s registered vehicles. It may interest you to know that poorer country just like that in my regions record the highest number of fatalities, what makes this issue worse is that young people like you and I are the worst hit – this is highly unacceptable as road traffic crashes are all avoidable and preventable.
It is no longer news that Road Safety is the most ignored subject in our society today. How do you explain a thing that kill more than 1.35 million people mostly youths annually and yet hardly makes the news headlines? 1.35 million figure is more than the population of so many countries of the world, Please take a moment and imagine a country losing its entire citizen within a year?
Country like Nigeria where I came from, Road Traffic Fatalities have remained the leading means of violence deaths ahead of the world’s most deadly terrorist group Boko-Haram yet issues of road safety are never taking serious. Thankfully, Nigeria has a lead agency called the Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC) but the situation isn’t the same across other Africa countries. Countries like Cameron has more than 30.1% deaths per 100,000 population yet they do not have lead agencies, we must push to have lead agency in all countries, that’s in itself is the first step. Secondly, most African nations suffer from paucity of data, we can only solve a problem if we know the details. We must address it
Did I also mention to you that young people in Africa are mostly excluded in leadership and policy formulation? That is the situation in Africa. We must unite to say Enough is Enough as we begin #ClaimingOurSpace on the Worlds number 1 Killer of young people. We all have the capacity, let us get to Work