Participants at Africa Clean Mobility Week explored opportunities for Africa to leapfrog to cleaner and more efficient mobility solutions.
The conference focused on four themes: improving the fuel efficiency of Africa's vehicles, advancing electric mobility across the continent, regulating the import of used vehicles, and promoting sustainable transport infrastructure.
16 March 2018: The UN Environment Programme (UNEP, or UN Environment) hosted Africa Clean Mobility Week in Nairobi, Kenya, during which delegates explored opportunities for African countries to leapfrog to cleaner and more efficient mobility solutions.
Africa has one of the highest growth rates of motorization in the world, due to rapid urbanization and an increasing population across the continent. As a result, the transport sector has become the region’s largest contributor of energy-related green house gas emissions and urban air pollution.
Conference participants focused on four themes: improving the fuel efficiency of Africa’s vehicles, advancing electric mobility across the continent, regulating the import of used vehicles, and promoting sustainable transport infrastructure. Recommendations from the conference centered on the themes of regional harmonization and cooperation of policy making and enforcement, the identification of areas for further research, the identification of resources for financial assistance, public-private sector cooperation, and the potential for pilot projects.
Most cars imported to Africa are used vehicles from countries, such as Europe, where they no longer meet fuel efficiency and emissions standards.
The import of cleaner vehicles was a strong focus of the conference, given that 90% of vehicles imported to African countries are used and many do not meet European fuel efficiency and emissions standards, while many others have had parts altered or cannibalized, worsening their environmental performance. Currently, four African countries ban used car imports, 25 have placed a maximum age limit on imported vehicles, and various countries have emissions and efficiency standards for imports. However, due to porous borders between African countries, disparate standards, and false paperwork for many vehicles, these regulations are hard to enforce. Conference participants explored opportunities for regional harmonization of standards, as well as incentives for increasing imports of new and used high-efficiency and electric vehicles. [Africa Clean Mobility Week Recommendations] [UNEP – Africa Clean Mobility Week] [Climate and Clean Air Coalition News Report]