Increased impacts on land resources, water quality, air quality, and biodiversity are projected to result from the transportation sector's continued growth. Transport is a significant source of particle and nitrous oxide emissions in metropolitan areas, which contribute to the brown haze that often covers Africa's major cities. With children and the elderly being particularly sensitive, these pollutants have a substantial negative impact on human health, raising the risks of respiratory illnesses, heart disease, lung cancer, and low birth weight, among other conditions. Due to the high medical costs, this strains the healthcare system even more. In this article, we will discuss ways in which Africa’s green transport infrastructure can help mitigate challenges, how to get Africa to full green transport mode, and projections by government officials on the readiness of African countries for this transition.
Why Green Transportation?
Climate change is a global problem as it affects us all. However, as a water-scarce continent, Africa is particularly vulnerable to drought, rainfall variability and inconsistently above-average temperature conditions. The transport system in many African countries is already inconsistent, risky and dangerous to an extent, and with the fuels used in these different vehicles, it becomes even more dangerous to create new transportation opportunities. Green transport will make sure that we create transport opportunities that will retain lives and cause little to no harm to the environment and those who live in it. A few green transport options can help many countries. Let’s take a look at some:
Electric-powered vehicles are great as they do not emit any harmful gases into the air. Even though power plants may emit harmful gases, renewable energy sources such as geothermal, hydroelectric, solar, and wind turbines can be used to generate electricity. Using vehicles that are not only alternatively powered but also use sustainable energy sources is not only beneficial to the users but puts way less pressure on the environment and helps regions handle climate changes better.
Transition Into Green Transport, A High Possibility
When it comes to how the continent can swiftly move into green transportation, it is important to highlight that it will require major investments from the government, public and private sectors. Investments because green transportation is indeed that. Not only will green transport transitions help with environmental benefits, but the transition itself will open up employment, entrepreneurial, skills and ideation opportunities. Many communities in Africa are not moving forward, and this is not because they lack the will to have better transport, but because there is nobody investing in them. There is also a need to upgrade the roads in many African countries, meaning green transport transitioning will ripple into more infrastructure opportunities that will place African countries in a better-developed state.
What Are WE Doing?
While DBSA follows a holistic approach to infrastructure development by addressing the entire infrastructure value chain and focusing on key long-term strategic interventions, our function within the transport sector is to pursue green transport infrastructure investment for projects aimed at the development of bridges, roads, bus stations, railways, terminals, airports, seaports, border ports and more. We prioritise the development of sustainable public transport networks to ensure safe, efficient and green transport systems for all communities across the country and Africa.
Africa is ready for green transportation. The continent is fueled by many creators and innovators who are constantly fighting to give themselves and their communities a better life. The ideas are there; they just need backing from investors. Together we can.