Home > News > MVA Fund hosts Safe Mobility Challenge and Safe Mobility Forum 2023

The Motor Vehicle Accident Fund (MVA Fund) successfully hosted two inaugural Safe Mobility events on July 3rd and 4th, 2023. These events, held in Mogoditshane and the Gaborone International Conference Centre, were part of the MVA Fund Mphatlalatsane Strategic Plan 2023-2027 initiatives, aimed at achieving safer mobility and reducing road accidents in Botswana.

Aligned with the UN Global Plan of the Decade of Action for Road Safety 2021-2030, which recognizes road traffic crashes as a pressing developmental priority and public health challenge, these events showcased the MVA Fund’s commitment to addressing road safety concerns. Botswana, with aspirations to transition to a high-income economy by 2036, acknowledges the importance of safe and efficient transport systems to achieve both national and global objectives. Road safety, defined as the absence of risk for injury or death from road traffic crashes, is a critical component of efficient and sustainable mobility.

Over the past ten years, Botswana has witnessed a high number of road traffic injuries and deaths, averaging 415 fatalities annually with a rate of 18 deaths per 100,000 population. These figures exceed the global average of 17.4 and far surpass the fatality rate of 9.2 deaths per 100,000 population in high-income countries. The adverse impact of road traffic crashes on Botswana’s socio-economic landscape poses a threat to the nation’s efforts for economic transformation. Recent incidents, resulting in the loss of 23 lives, serve as a wake-up call for citizens to take action and demand change.

The MVA Fund has allocated substantial resources, approximately P200 million, to cover social security expenses for victims of road traffic crashes, underlining the urgency of prioritizing safe mobility. To drive the adoption of road safety management best practices, the Fund has included advocacy as a strategic initiative. Several areas have been identified for improvement in Botswana’s road safety landscape, including the prioritization of road safety, adopting a Safe Systems Approach, establishing effective road safety leadership structures, and implementing a 30-Day fatality definition.

As part of these efforts, the MVA Fund organized the Safe Mobility Forum on July 4th, 2023, at the Gaborone International Conference Centre (GICC). The forum, held under the theme “Resetting the Road Safety Agenda: Adopting Best Practices for Safe Mobility Towards Sustainable Development and Economic Transformation,” aimed to bring together stakeholders and policymakers to reflect on and discuss opportunities for change. Dr Brett Hughes, a renowned road safety specialist, advocate, and transport researcher from Australia, delivered a keynote address at the event. The program included presentations, panel discussions, and culminated in the signing of a safe mobility declaration by all stakeholders.

Preceding the forum, the MVA Fund organized the Safe Mobility Challenge on July 2nd, 2023. This awareness campaign focused on promoting the safety of vulnerable road users through activities such as walking, running, and cycling. Aligned with the United Nations Global Road Safety Week 2023 theme of Sustainable Transport – Rethinking Mobility, the campaign highlighted the importance of shifting towards walking, cycling, and public transport to reduce crash risks and environmental impact from car emissions.

The MVA Fund Safe Mobility events were made possible through partnerships with various stakeholders, including the Botswana Cycling Association, Fearless Fitness Club, Ministry of Youth, Gender, Sport and Culture, Department of Road Transport Services, and Botswana Police Service. Additional supporters of the initiative included Minet Botswana, Emergency Assist 991, Vivo Energy, Total Energies Botswana, Kgalagadi Breweries Limited, Unitrans Botswana, Botswana Defence Force, Botswana Red Cross Society, Bike for Future, and Gaborone Bicycle Mayor. The Minister of Youth, Gender, Sport and Culture, Hon. Tumiso Rakgare, participated as a guest rider and speaker at the event.

By organizing these events and engaging various stakeholders, the MVA Fund is actively working towards its goal of achieving safer mobility in Botswana. Through continued efforts and collaborations, the aim is to reduce road traffic accidents, ensure the well-being of citizens, and support the nation’s economic transformation.