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New vision for collective passenger transport in East Africa with launch of regional high level group

A new high-level group of leading East African and international transport stakeholders launches in Nairobi.

Jointly initiated by UN-Habitat and IRU, the East African Community (EAC) Smart Move high level group will work for a period of one year to devise a roadmap for boosting collective passenger transport in EAC’s cities and on EAC’s roads by 2030. Benefits include better transport services, reduced carbon emissions, more jobs, fewer road deaths and reduced road congestion by up to fifteen percent.


Focusing on smart urban mobility including metered taxis, regular intercity coach services and coach-based tourism, the group will lay out a joint vision on the role of buses, coaches and taxis, develop policy and business recommendations to substantially increase passenger numbers, and share best practices.

The EAC group brings together representatives from private businesses, trade associations, authorities, research bodies and other stakeholders from civil society. It will identify how bus, coach and taxi transport contributes to sustainable mobility in East Africa, and will identify local solutions to address the unique challenges of East Africa’s future mobility and transport needs.


With UN-Habitat as a key partner, the initiative’s commitment to sustainable and efficient passenger transport will contribute to the United Nations’ 2030 Global Sustainable Development Agenda and the implementation of the New Urban Agenda, adopted at the recent Habitat III global conference in Quito, Ecuador.


Umberto de Pretto, IRU Secretary General said, “Upholding the right of people to get around – to safely travel and connect to efficient and sustainable transport networks – is a fundamental human right. The launch of the EAC high level group is a milestone in building momentum towards improved passenger transport for the region, less congestion in urban areas, better services to customers, and supporting bus, coach and taxi operators in their industry.”


Dr. Aisa Kirabo Kacyira, UN Assistant Secretary General and Deputy Executive Director, UN- Habitat, said, "This high level group is an important initiative to bring together public and private stakeholders in prioritising actions towards meeting the Sustainable Development Goals and taking forward the implementation of the New Urban Agenda." She also remarked that mobility solutions should be inclusive and meet the needs of the poor and vulnerable, while emphasising the need for research into how sustainable mobility can positively impact East African Cities to enhance the business climate and promote clean air in the region.


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