Examining African Green Transportation System in 2024
By Yemi Olakitan
Green transportation in Africa in 2024 is gaining momentum, with a focus on sustainable and electric mobility. African countries are implementing strategies and policies to promote green transport, such as electric vehicles, renewable energy, and clean mobility roadmaps.
The continent’s urban population is expected to double by 2050, emphasizing the need for sustainable transport solutions to curb emissions and accommodate the growing population.
Efforts are underway to transition from old internal combustion engines to electric mobility, with a particular emphasis on public transport systems and electric vehicles operated in fleets.
The African Sustainable Transport Forum aims to integrate sustainable transport into policies and increase funding for sustainable transport initiatives in Africa.
The continent has the opportunity to leapfrog to sustainable mobility, taking advantage of abundant raw materials for vehicle electrification, renewable energy generation capabilities, and a youthful population receptive to digital technologies.
By adopting appropriate policy, legal, and regulatory measures, African nations can effectively confront the challenges of urbanization and curtail detrimental emissions.
There are several eco-friendly means of transportation in Africa. Sustainable transportation in Africa means affordable, efficient, and convenient public transport systems that are subsidy-free and accessible to almost all.
Mobility startups in Northern Africa are creating remarkable changes in transportation systems by promoting eco-friendly modes of transportation, such as electric vehicles, and contributing to a reduction in transport pollution output.
Sustainable transport includes public transportation, such as electric buses and trains and BRT systems that can carry people far more efficiently than private cars. People can also advocate for and support clean vehicle policies that could ultimately result in a greener range of vehicles and modes of transportation to choose from.
The major pioneers of green transportation in Africa include various African countries and leaders who have been at the forefront of implementing green transport systems and policies. Some notable initiatives and leaders in this field are:
Under its Climate Resilient Green Economy strategy, Ethiopia is pushing for interventions that support public transport, including non-motorised options, and a move toward cleaner fuels for freight and shipping.
Rwanda has set a target of converting 20 percent of its public transportation to electric vehicles by 2030.
African leaders and organizations have been paving the way for green transportation, with a focus on sustainable and innovative collective action for a brighter, greener future.
African countries, in general, are adopting various policy, legal, and regulatory mechanisms to promote sustainable transportation, taking advantage of abundant raw materials for vehicle electrification, renewable energy generation capabilities, and a youthful population receptive to digital technologies.
These efforts reflect a growing commitment to sustainable mobility and the reduction of detrimental emissions in the face of rapid urbanization and industrialization across the continent.
what are some challenges faced by african countries in implementing green transportation solutions
African countries face several challenges in implementing green transportation solutions, including limited public transport systems, reliance on diesel-powered vehicles, and the need to balance economic growth with emissions reduction.
The continent’s substantial urbanization, with the urban population expected to double by 2050, highlights the urgency of adopting sustainable transport measures.
Some of the unique challenges and solutions to sustainable transport issues in Africa include the following: Limited public transport systems, often relying on diesel-powered mini-buses and motorcycles.
The tradeoff between economic growth and emissions reduction, requiring a thoughtful approach. The need to develop green and climate-smart transport strategies and policies to secure sustainable mobility for all.
The importation of polluting, second-hand internal combustion engine vehicles, highlighting the necessity of transitioning to local e-mobility solutions.
These challenges underscore the importance of developing comprehensive strategies, policies, and regulatory measures to promote sustainable transportation and address the specific needs of African countries as they work towards a more sustainable transport system.
In Africa, several brands and initiatives are actively promoting green transportation and sustainable mobility.
Spiro is a pioneer in green transportation solutions that offers various services.Spiro Manufacturing is focused on creating environmentally friendly transportation options.
Spiro Capital invests in sustainable mobility projects while Spiro Swap n Go is a system that encourages the use of electric vehicles (EVs) by providing convenient battery swapping stations.
Across Sub-Saharan Africa, start-ups are emerging to provide app-based mobility services using electric motorcycles and cars. These services contribute to cleaner transportation options for urban commuters. (EVs) Vehicles like the Nissan Leaf are making their way into African markets and serving as taxis. These EVs help reduce emissions and promote cleaner air in cities.
Furthermore, some African cities, including Abidjan and Johannesburg are investing in formalized public transportation systems. These often include high-capacity bus operations, such as bus rapid transit (BRT) systems, to improve mobility and reduce reliance on private vehicles.
African countries are transitioning away from fossil fuel dependency. For instance, Kenya generates about 85% of its power from renewable sources. including hydro, geothermal, wind, and solar energy. Solar panels have become increasingly affordable, providing electricity access in rural areas across the continent.
Ethiopia is pushing for interventions that support public transport, including non-motorized options, and a move toward cleaner fuels for freight and shipping.
While progress is being made, there’s still much work to be done to achieve widespread green transportation across Africa. These efforts are crucial for a more sustainable and environmentally friendly future on the continent.
Africa is home to approximately 1.3 billion people, experiences relatively low per capita energy use compared to Europe or North America.
However, the growth rate of energy use on the continent is high. Over the past decade, total primary energy demand has increased tremendously.
While many African countries import petroleum fuels, they have abundant domestic sources of renewable energy.
For instance, Kenya generates about 85% of its power from renewable sources like hydro, geothermal, wind, and solar energy. Solar panels have become increasingly affordable, providing electricity access in rural areas across Africa.
Sustainable Transport Action Framework for Africa calls for actions by African governments, including data collection, monitoring, and reporting on traffic-related fatalities, air quality, non-motorized transport infrastructure, and more African countries are developing green and climate-smart transport strategies to secure sustainable mobility for all, especially as taming carbon emissions remains urgent in the face of climate change.