Lagos State Commissioner for Transportation, Dr. Frederic Oladeinde has advocated a comprehensive, more sophisticated and more integrated approach to transport planning in Africa to achieve efficient, equitable and environmentally sensitive transport.
Speaking at the 6th Africa Sustainable Mobility Course in Lagos, Dr. Oladeinde stated that an environmentally sensitive transport cannot be achieved simply by improving the efficiency of vehicle designs or traffic management but one that required changes in the way we think about transportation, and how we identify and evaluate solutions to transport problems.
The course organized by Ochenuel Mobility Nigeria and supported by LAMATA has participants from Uganda, Liberia, Germany, South Africa, India, Malawi, Tanzania and Nigeria.
In a keynote address, on the theme of the course, “Pathway to the Future Mobility of Africa,” Dr. Oladeinde said for African transportation landscape to become sustainable, planning must focus on access, which can be improved with strategies that reduce the need to travel altogether, such as land management and improved communications.
He noted that rapid urbanization of African in the past decades had resulted in complex social, economic and environmental challenges with the auto-centric pattern of development resulting in traffic congestion, urban sprawl and pollution.
Dr. Oladeinde said current approach to problem solving in the transport sector tended to fail when confronted with so many challenges and described conventional decision making as reductionist.
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He said apart from lack of investments in infrastructure to meet the needs of the rapidly growing population, there is the urgent need to mainstream the prioritization of public transport and non-motorized transport NMT).
Besides, he stated the need for a transition to cleaner or renewable energy sources to power Africa’s mobility space, which he described as a critical component of the plan to reduce the negative environmental impacts of transportation and mobility.
“Compressed natural gas (CNG), hydroelectricity, biomass, geothermal energy, wind power, and solar energy are all eligible energy sources. Hybrid and electric vehicles (EVs) would assist to reduce pollution while also easing the burden of rising gasoline prices. Energy security is however a primary hurdle to electric car acceptability in Africa,” he
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In her welcome address, the Managing Director of Lagos Metropolitan Area Transport Authority (LAMATA), Engr. Mrs. Abimbola Akinajo noted that the course was brought to Lagos with a view to accommodating more people in building institutional and organizational capacity of the different executing MDAs, local government and local council development areas and coordinate their activities towards achieving a common and consistent policy basis for sustainable transport development in Lagos.
“There is a clear evidence that knowledge of sustainable urban mobility is limited in Africa, given the nature of contemporary urban transport developments,” she noted, pointing out that transport development in Africa essentially focusses on building wider roads that promotes motorization, which ultimately increases traffic congestion and
greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.