The Motor Vehicle Accident (MVA) Fund of Namibia Chief Executive Officer, Rosalia Martins-Hausiku urges women from all walks of life to recognize the critical role they play in pushing the agenda for safer roads in the country to reduce the loss of lives.

“As women it is for us to find our voice for safer roads -for the safety and protection of our families and communities and to minimize the impact of road crashes on our national economy. I urge every woman in our country, to initiate road safety activities and champion road safety at community, corporate and regional levels, as well as relevant stakeholders to establish terms of reference for such championships. I also challenge every woman in leadership or position of influence to advocate for road safety at home, community and the workplace to embrace the role that we should play in the interest of saving lives on our roads,” said Martins-Hausiku.

The Fund’s CEO was speaking at the 2nd annual Women in Road Safety Conference and Expo held in Mariental, Hardap region on 18 and 19 September 2019which was attended by over 100 participants from various regional governors, local government representatives, law enforcement agencies, representatives from the Road Accident Fund South Africa, MVA Fund Botswana as well as representatives from the legal and business fraternity.

Held in partnership with the Automobile Association of Namibia (AAN)under the theme 'Women Influence for Safe Roads', the main objectives of the conference were to instill in all road users a sense of personal responsibility and prioritization of road safety, with special focus on women to be active participants in the reduction of road carnage in Namibia. The event included a street procession with learners from various junior primary schools, emergency rescue vehicles, law enforcers and bikers, as well as road safety demonstrations, presentations on road safety, exhibitions and the ground-breaking of a Children Traffic Play Park in Mariental.

As host of the conference, Governor of Hardap Region Esme Isaack, acknowledged the increased interest and involvement by women in Namibia through stepping up the challenge as lead advocates for road safety in SADC as “when you educate mothers and women, you have reached and empowered a nation.” Furthermore, she expressed appreciation towards the MVA Fund for cementing strategic relations which will see the opening of an Emergency Medical Rescue Services (EMRS) Base and the establishment of the Children Traffic Play Park in Mariental in due course. At the same occasion, Deputy Minister of International Relations Christine //Hoëbes, narrated on behalf of Minister of Works and Transport Honourable John Mutorwa that road safety is collective responsibility. “Our national development plans strive to improve the livelihood of our citizens. This can only be achieved when all actors in the road safety fraternity including others in the public and private sector join Government in addressing our shortfalls-be it in road governance, be it in the enabling legal framework or in implementing vehicle such as our national road safety strategy. It goes without saying that this phenomenon requires a multi-sectoral approach. I am therefore encouraged by the perseverance portrayed by various institutions including the MVA Fund and its partners, through continued investment in crash and injury prevention and post-crash management.”

In addition, the conference included various presentations on topics namely: The state of road safety in Namibia in line with the Decade of Action for Road Safety 2011-2020; Strengthening of political sponsorship towards 50% reduction by 2030, Strengthening of the Legal Framework in support of road safety; Impact of human, vehicle and road factors on road safety; Law enforcement with consequences drives positive road user behavior; Regional perspectives on women driving the road safety agenda and a testimonial by a road crash survivor.

Resolutions endorsed at the conference will be actioned by relevant stakeholders, while the 2020 Women in Road Safety Conference will be hosted in Erongo region.