Strolling through the streets of Zambia’s capital, Lusaka, the first thing that strikes you is the hustle of people walking. This is not surprising, considering that 65 per cent of people walk as their daily mode of transport. Historically, investment in pedestrians and cyclists has been overlooked in Zambia with many roads being in disrepair or no space for people to walk and cycle safely. The Ministry of Transport and Communications decided it is high time for the country to prioritize the transport needs of the majority of its citizens.
With support from UN Environment Programme’s (UNEP) Share the Road programme and the Institute for Transport and Development Policy’s Africa office, the government of Zambia has developed a national non-motorized transport strategy for the republic of Zambia. The non-motorized transport strategy was developed in partnership with a series of stakeholders, including the Ministry of Local Government, the Road Development Agency, the National Road Fund Agency, various Zambia city councils and other government agencies and the United Nations Development Programme. Building on Zambia’s National Transport Policy, the strategy lays out a clear roadmap for government action to improve the walking and cycling environment and catalyse investment in non-motorized transport.
Following a stakeholder workshop entitled “Making Zambia a walking & cycling-friendly nation” that was held lest year (2018) at the Government Complex in Lusaka, it was agreed that there was a need to develop a strategy that will define a common vision for improving the walking and cycling environment Zambia. In laying out the vision for an enhanced walking and cycling environment, the strategy will complement mobility plans in Zambia, which offer detailed guidance on specific mobility initiatives.
At the national level, this strategy will not only help in defining priorities for the use of road fund revenue and other sources of national government funding but also guide the development of national guidelines that have an impact on the non-motorized transport environment, such as street design standards and building control regulations.
UNEP’s Share the Road Programme, along with the country partner United Nations Development Programme Zambia will work further with the authorities in Zambia to support implementation of the policy, with a particular need to focus on prioritizing investment in non-motorized transport and the needs of vulnerable groups.