Executive Director of UN Environment (UNEP) Erik Solheim (front) and staff members ride on state-of-the-art bikes donated by China's Mobike at the United Nations Offices in Nairobi, Kenya on March 5, 2018. The United Nations Office at Nairobi on Monday launched a bicycle sharing transport scheme for staff and visitors as part of broader efforts to advance the green agenda. (Xinhua/Jin Zheng)
NAIROBI, March 17 (Xinhua) -- Countries in the Sub-Saharan African region have endorsed a communique to promote cleaner mobility in cities amid quest to curb air pollution and the attendant negative health impacts.
The comprehensive pact that was adopted at the end of Africa Clean Mobility Week that ended in Nairobi proposed a raft of policy, regulatory and fiscal incentives to boost the adoption of low emission transport models in the continent's rapidly growing cities.
Ibrahim Thiaw, the Deputy Executive Director at the UN Environment, said green transportation is an imperative in order to boost sustainable development in Africa.
"A shift to cleaner mobility in Africa will rewrite the continent's narrative by spurring economic growth and job creation," Thiaw said.
"Governments should therefore provide incentives to promote investments in green mobility in Africa amid rapid urbanization and population growth," he added.
Dozens of policymakers, industry leaders, researchers and campaigners attended the five-day Africa clean mobility week organized by UN Environment and partners.
The forum sought to reignite a new conversation on accelerating the transition to greener transportation in a continent grappling with negative impacts of climate change.
Thiaw proposed a radical policy shift, investments in technologies alongside public education to boost uptake of fuel efficient vehicles and cleaner fuels in Africa's transport sector.
"Africa should leapfrog to clean mobility by domesticating best practices from elsewhere and investing in cleaner technologies like electric cars, two and three wheel machines," said Thiaw.
Delegates in their final recommendations supported the enactment of new policy and fiscal incentives to hasten a transition to low carbon transportation in Africa.
Urias Goll, the Deputy Executive Director of Liberia's Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), said that Africa required home-grown initiatives to advance the green mobility agenda.
"There is need to support local industries to manufacture hybrid and electric vehicles tailor made for the local market," Goll said, adding that consumer awareness is key to boosting the adoption of non-motorized and cleaner transport models in Africa.
Gerald Banaga-Baingi, a technical advisor at Uganda's ministry of energy and mineral development, said that importation of low emission second hand vehicles could boost green mobility in Africa's big cities.
"We should encourage importation of used vehicles that have strong emission deterrent technologies as part of the green mobility agenda in this continent," Banaga-Baingi said.
"Likewise, we can also leverage on new technologies, research and development to boost adoption of cleaner fuels and fuel efficient vehicles in the transport system," he added.