The government of Rwanda has signed a multimillion-dollar deal with Eastern Ventures, a local Special Purpose Vehicle in partnership with Vitronic, a firm based in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), to help improve road safety in the Eastern Africa country.
The agreement which was signed by the Rwanda National Police (RNP) at the Rwanda Development Board (RDB) head offices in Kigali, will see the installation and operation of over 500 German high-tech road safety systems across the country. The systems will include mobile, fixed cameras and trailer light bars used to monitor speed and traffic violations.
The partnership is in line with Rwanda’s goal of developing sustainable road safety measures and awareness and prevent road accidents.
Rwanda National Police will oversee the implementation of the systems in various sites around the country while speed cameras will be installed on over 400 identified accident hotspots nationwide with a target of reducing road accidents by 80 percent.
Speaking on behalf of RNP, CP John Bosco Kabera noted: “We believe that these systems will go a long way in ensuring safety on our roads for healthy and productive citizens. Despite policy and legal frameworks put in place to enforce and curtail traffic offences, there is still a big number of road accidents countrywide involving loss of lives. In the years 2016-2018, road accidents claimed over 1,900 lives. Rwanda’s plans for extending its success in road safety have always included further reinforcements such as these monitoring systems, as well as more public awareness on accident prevention and enforcing good road conduct.”
A representative of Eastern Ventures said: “This partnership and initiative in improving road safety in Rwanda is the beginning of long term- multi-sector investments in the country, where knowledge transfer and job creation are at the center of all our initiatives.”
RDB CEO, Clare Akamanzi said: “Strategic investments like these enable us to ensure that our nationals and visitors alike feel safe while using our roads. In addition to that, the investment will also benefit local suppliers and subcontractors during the project’s implementation.”
Rwanda’s car imports rose to 7,055 in 2018 up from 7,000 in 2017, dominated mainly by second-hand imports vehicles, according data from Rwanda Revenue Authority (RRA) while the country imported 10,576 motorbikes in 2018.
The Rwanda National Police has been conducting a nationwide 52-week road safety campaign dubbed ‘Gerayo Amahoro’ translated to mean ‘Arrive Safe’ aimed at sensitizing all categories of road users on traffic rules and regulations to influence behavioral change.
In 2019, RNP reported a 17 percent reduction in road accidents following the awareness campaign with the number of road accidents going down from 5,661 cases recorded in 2018 to 4,661 in 2019.
According to media reports, at least 532 people died in road accidents between January and September 2019 in Rwanda while another 705 accidents were registered as serious in the same period with over 1,300 properties being destroyed as a result of road mishaps.
According to the World Health Organization, up to 80 per cent of road accidents are caused by human behavior.