Nairobi, 4 November 2010: Members of the new Transport and Environment Science Technology (TEST) Network met late last month at the UN-HABITAT headquarters in Nairobi, Kenya to discuss transport and environment research challenges in sub-Saharan African countries.
The focus of the Network is on improving research capacities in the fields of traffic flow management, air pollution and road safety in urban areas.
“A key constraint in our six partner countries is the need for integrated transport solutions based on international best practices and experiences on the ground in sub-Saharan Africa. Therefore the Transport and Environmental Science Technology Network aims to support countries in formulating and implementing sustainable transport policies”, said Project Leader Dr. Dieter Schwela during the opening session of the meeting.
The Network was established in early 2010 and is funded by the European Commission for the African, Caribbean and Pacific Group of States (ACP) under the Science and Technology Programme. The Network has been established as collaboration with the University of York’s Stockholm Environment Institute (SEI, UK) and the European Branch of the Institute for Transportation and Development Policy (ITDP, Germany).
TEST members at the UN-HABITAT headquarter, Nairobi. © Stockholm Environment Institute
Current members are six African universities: The Centre for Transport Studies at the University of Cape Town; Universidade Eduardo Mondlane in Mozambique; Ardhi University in Tanzania; Makerere University in Uganda; the University of Zimbabwe; and the University of Zambia. UN-HABITAT is a support partner of the new network, which is also associated with the International Forum for Rural Transport and Development (IFRTD).
For UN-HABITAT, Mr. Bert Diphoorn, Director of the Human Settlements Financing Division emphasized the importance of strengthening professional capacity in the urban transport field, an objective the organization shares with the TEST network. The common goal is to advance policies and solutions for sustainable urban mobility in Africa.
During the meeting, Network members discussed outcomes of national surveys conducted in each partner country to learn about research capacity and needs in the field of transport and environment. The upcoming second year of the programme will develop short-term training courses addressing gaps in transport and environment research.