Exciting future must include better roads

From Global development | The Guardian Thu Dec 20 2012, 02:00:01

While safety is discussed in the conference rooms of five-star hotels, out on Dar es Salaam's roads people die every day

A group of academics at Tanzania's Ardhi University this year produced a masterplan for the transformation of Dar es Salaam into one of Africa's next megacities. Their inspiration was Singapore, with its ambitious building projects, skyscrapers, bridges and ringroads.

Dar is already one of Africa's boomtowns - it is the second-fastest-growing city in Africa after Lagos, forecast to double in size to more than 7 million people by 2025. And it contributes around 40% of Tanzania's GDP, which is growing by more than 7% each year.

Yet while Dar es Salaam might aspire to be the next Singapore, the differences between the two cities are starkly apparent when it comes to the number of people who die on their roads. At least 480 people were killed on the streets of Tanzania's commercial capital last year. In Singapore, 195 lost their lives, even though Singapore has a population of about 5 million, compared with Dar's 3.5 million.

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