Kigali is the capital of Rwanda, one of the most densely populated African countries. Rwanda is highly reliant on road transport due to the absence of a railway and the cost of domestic flights. Kigali's population is around 1.2 million, with a mean population density of 1552 people/km2.
The city selected six road safety demonstration action projects targeting digitalizing and crowd-sourcing road safety reporting, safe school zones, post-crash care response, and improving safe and clean vehicle standards.
Initial road safety challenges
The World Health Organization (WHO) model estimates the rate of deaths by road crashes in Rwanda to be 29.7 deaths/100,000 inhabitants, substantially higher than the African average. According to the Rwanda National Police, the country registered 597 fatal crashes and 885 serious injuries in 2018. In the year 2019, 739 fatal crashes were registered. Also, 687 and 548 fatal crashes were registered in 2020 and 2021, respectively. Pedestrians, cyclists, and motorcyclists are the most vulnerable users, constituting 73 percent of the crashes. Despite all these challenges, Rwanda has shown a clear commitment to making road safety a priority and is a front-runner in the region.
Rwanda, through the Rwanda National Police (RNP), is implementing comprehensive digital traffic management systems to automate enforcement, understand road use and decrease crashes. Meanwhile, digital health management information systems have demonstrated Rwandan capacity to manage the healthcare sector innovatively . Customized software solutions and a national identification agency hold unlimited potential to elevate data quality and link health and roadway data.
Demo-action 1: Crowdsourced, High Risk, Near-Miss Hotspot Map/ Dashboard
This demo aims to build a dynamically updated road traffic crash, and crowd-source identified high-risk area map to precisely locate where road safety interventions are required to reduce risk and save lives. An app feeds the map and is essentially a public reporting tool, but there would be an option for the police to add official data. The dynamic nature of the map is an innovative approach to provide real-time road traffic crash information for decision makers such as the Ministry of Infrastructure and the City of Kigali to intervene. The City of Kigali, the National Police-Traffic Department, and the University of Rwanda would publicize the app and the map. There is potential for the crash map to inspire a program of low-cost interventions that help make the environment safer in Kigali.