Non-motorised transport (NMT) offers basic and affordable mobility, access to public transport, and health benefits. Improving the convenience, comfort, and safety of walking and cycling reduces the demand for travel by personal motor vehicles, helping to alleviate the critical traffic challenges facing many cities. Despite a high level of reliance on NMT in Ethiopian cities and rural centres, many streets are not designed for people to walk or cycle.
Evidence around the world has shown that street designs focused on vehicle movement rather than mobility for people undermine quality of life and the character of public spaces. Greater emphasis on walking, cycling, and public transport in the planning, design, construction, and management of transport systems is needed to achieve a more equitable allocation of road space.
The Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia has an estimated population of 99 million, a number that is expected to grow to 122 million by 2030. Ethiopia has 21 percent of its population living in urban areas and over 21 million urban residents. As Ethiopia’s cities and rural centres grow, they face the challenge of serving growing demand for mobility, along with rising levels of traffic congestion, deaths from traffic crashes, and local air pollution.
Non-motorised modes play a fundamental and unique role in the efficiency of transport systems, providing an affordable, low-carbon travel option. They also provide essential connectivity to public transport. In Ethiopian cities and rural centres, the vast majority of residents rely on walking, cycling, and public transport. In order to improve the walking, and cycling environment, UN Environment and UN-Habitat appointed the Institute for Transportation and Development Policy (ITDP) to assist the Government of Ethiopia through the Ministry of Transport (MoT), Federal Transport Authority (FTA), Ethiopian Roads Authority (ERA), and Ministry of Urban Development and Construction (MUDC) in the preparation of the Non-Motorised Transport (NMT) Strategy 2020-2029 under the auspices of the Share the Road initiative. This NMT Strategy has been developed following extensive
consultations including stakeholder meetings and capacity building workshops. Successful implementation of the NMT Strategy will require the joint efforts of concerned stakeholders to develop a transport system that provides safe, equitable access for all road users.