Addis Ababa, June 2020 - The Ethiopian Government is moving to promote walking, cycling and public transport as congestion and air pollution continue to worsen.

Earlier this month on World Bicycle Day, Ethiopia’s Ministry of Transport with the Institute for Transportation and Development Policy (ITDP), UN Environment and UN-Habitat, launched its National Non-Motorised Transport (NMT) Strategy 2020-29, which outlines measures to be implemented over the next ten years to improve mobility and facilitate inclusive urbanization.

This will see the Government  investing in walking, cycling, and public transport and managing private vehicle use. The Strategy emphasises the need to consider all residents in the plans and budgets, including women, children, and persons with disabilities.

UN-Habitat, with support from the United Nations Road Safety Fund (UNRSF) has been supporting the Ethiopian government since May 2019 through the “Scaling UP Safe Streets in Ethiopia” project that aims to strengthen the capacity of Ethiopia to better design and implement policies that prioritize the needs of pedestrians and cyclists and make investment decisions for sustainable mobility.

The project is providing technical support to officials in the local and national government in their ongoing efforts to upgrade and implement footpaths and bicycle lanes through support to harmonize existing street design guidelines, support policy processes, contribute to car free days by mobilizing stakeholders and promote street level activities, as well as technical review assistance of designs of ongoing infrastructure projects.

Many cities including Paris, Barcelona, Milan, Lima, Bogota, Mexico City, Addis Ababa or Kampala have promoted cycling-friendly infrastructure and facilities as part of their emergency response, and to encourage the use of bicycles. France has subsidised bike repairs and electric bike purchases; Barcelona, Bogota, Lima and Mexico City have widened existing bike lanes and opened up new lanes for cyclists to be able to keep their distance from others, and Milan strengthened its bike share system and implemented pedestrian and cyclist priority streets.

See Ethiopia’s Non Motorized Transport Strategy here