Decarbonisation of Transport in Africa: A transport planning perspective

Environment & Climate
Sustainable Development Goals


Summary Report

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Summary Report (English)

Summary Report (French)



Globally, nearly a quarter of all greenhouse gas emissions come from the transportation sector. While much focus has understandably been placed on the largest CO2 emitting economies, there is an exciting opportunity to focus more attention on Africa. 

Though Africa currently has one of the lowest motorisation rates globally, it is poised to become a major new player in the transport sector in the near future, with the potential to become a leader in the decarbonisation of transport movement. Leapfrogging fossil-fueled transportation promises economic, environmental, human health, and infrastructure benefits to African governments and societies. Africa’s rich renewable energy resources, short daily travelled distances, and young workforce make the Continent’s potential for electrification uptake strong. While some governments have taken laudable steps in reducing fossil fuel use in the transport sector, these efforts must be further coordinated and scaled up to secure the Continent’s energy future. Barriers include lack of enabling policy frameworks and integrated planning, the affordability of electric vehicles, unreliable electricity generation, lack of awareness, and a lack of supporting infrastructure, particularly in rural areas. 

IAP and the Network of African Science Academies (NASAC) will initiate an 18-month study to examine a set of focal local and national urban transport initiatives across the Continent to distill lessons learned that could be applied to other cities and countries in Africa, including in the areas of electric vehicles, vehicle and fuel standards, mass and public transit and the informal transit sector. 

The study will aim to input into the 2022 United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP-27) hosted by Egypt in November 2022. The final report will provide targeted recommendations for the African Union, ministries of transport, environment and finance, international development and finance institutions, and other stakeholders. 

In the second phase of the study, funding permitting, regional reports would be produced in a similar manner for the Americas and Asia region by IAP’s constituent regional networks, InterAmerican Network of Academies of Science (IANAS) and Association of Academies and Societies of Science in Asia (AASSA). The project will culminate in an over-arching global report and a final workshop to review the similarities and differences among the four regions. 




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