YOUTH ROAD SAFETY INDUCTION
The MVA Fund of Namibia hosted a Youth Road Safety Induction on 31 July 2020 with representatives from Namibia University of Science and Technology (NUST), University of Namibia (UNAM), Monitronics Success College and African Youth and Adolescents Network (AfriYAN). The Induction is part of recommendations from the Youth Road Safety Webinar that took place mid-June 2020 in Windhoek.
The induction focused on providing young people with an opportunity to drive the agenda on sustainable transport and mobility, as a key measure to achieving Sustainable Developmental Goals (SDGs) on road safety by 2030. As part of the road safety SDGs, countries are required to half motor vehicle crashes, injuries and fatalities by 2020. However, Namibia is far from reaching this target as the Fund’s statistics indicate that two (2) and halve persons continue to perish in crashes daily. The statistics further indicate that over 45% of road casualties recorded in Namibia involve youth. Hence, the Fund and its road safety partners introduced platforms such as these for youth to drive the road safety agenda for a sustainable future.
According to the Fund’s Chief of Corporate Affairs, Surihe Gaomas-Guchu “The induction is one of the strategies used by the Fund to provide young people with opportunities to drive road safety agenda through awareness, advocacies and activations (AAA’s).” Mr Bernard Kavau, a representative from UNAM augmented this concept stating, “There can be nothing for the youth without themselves.” Kavau further suggested that road safety should become a standing agenda item during orientation of new students at universities.
The president of the Student Representative Council (SRC) at Monitronics Success College, Ms Fransisca Manyande also committed to influencing and creating discourse around youth road safety at different platforms. Manyande stated that it is no longer cool for young people to perish in road crashes as it is a life-threatening pandemic, and implored on the youth to be part of the implementation of the Global Decade of Action for Road Safety 2011-2020 and the Namibia Decade of Action for Road Safety Scorecard. Beata Thomas, Secretary-General of NUST SRC shared the same sentiments as Manyande, urging the youth to “realize that life is precious and that no youth should perish due to a lack of knowledge.” AfriYan, in their quest to create meaningful youth participation in road safety, committed to finding innovative ways that will capture the youth, thereby changing social behaviour.
The Fund urged the youth to use available resources and platforms to raise and advocate for road safety at schools and universities, as Namibia can no longer afford the continued loss of economically active members of society.