International Footballer Didier Drogba As Ambassador of Ground-Breaking Programme
CHINA – 29 October 2019 – Prudence Foundation, the community investment arm of Prudential in Asia and Africa, announced today that it has teamed up with international footballer Didier Drogba, together with the Fédération Internationale de l’Automobile (FIA), Didier Drogba Foundation and the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC), to launch SAFE STEPS Road Safety Africa.
Globally, 1.35 million people are killed on the roads every year, including 500 children every day. Road-related crashes are the number one cause of death of 5 to 29-year olds and continue to be a serious issue in both developing and developed nations. Africa has the highest road fatality rate in the world and 44 percent of road traffic deaths are pedestrians and cyclists. In addition, although Africa has only 2 percent of the world’s cars, the continent accounts for 20 percent of road deaths worldwide.
SAFE STEPS Road Safety Africa, an extension of the ground-breaking, pan-Asia SAFE STEPS Road Safety programme, uses multiple platforms including on-air videos, an informative website and print material that can be shared through community-based activities and partnerships to raise awareness of the world’s leading cause of death by providing clear and simple life-saving information.
Core to the programme is a series of 60-second public service announcement videos featuring SAFE STEPS Road Safety Africa Ambassador Didier Drogba who advises on key topics on road safety, namely drink driving, distracted driving, seat belts, speed limits, motor cycles and pedestrians. All messages are approved by IFRC which will also be leveraging the programme across its African network.
Ivory Coast is the first country in Africa to launch SAFE STEPS Road Safety Africa. With support from the Government of Ivory Coast, the programme was officially launched in Abidjan on 25 October by H.E. Amadou Koné, Minister of Transport, in the presence of Didier Drogba, Marc Fancy, Executive Director of Prudence Foundation, and Jean Todt, President of FIA and United Nations Secretary-General’s Special Envoy for Road Safety.
Marc Fancy said, “Prudence Foundation, the community investment arm of Prudential in Asia and Africa, is committed to protecting the future of communities by enhancing their education, health and safety. Following the success of SAFE STEPS Road Safety in Asia, we are delighted to be launching the new SAFE STEPS Road Safety Africa campaign in the Ivory Coast. We believe that with Didier leading this pan-Africa campaign, the messages on road safety will be able to reach millions of Africans and contribute to making Africa’s roads safer and help save lives.”
Jean Todt said, “The road safety crisis must be quickly and effectively addressed, especially in Africa where the mortality rates are higher than in the rest of the world. With awareness campaigns such as SAFE STEPS Road Safety Africa, we want to make people conscious of the dangers they are exposed to when they don’t respect simple safety rules on the road.”
Didier Drogba said, “Road traffic crashes are the leading cause of death in Ivory Coast. Children and pedestrians are the most vulnerable. We have an obligation to further protect our people by educating them and teaching them the best practices to save lives. The statistics are alarming! It seems obvious to me to get involved to support such a cause, so that we can change things as soon as possible!”
Dr Simon Missiri, IFRC Regional Director for Africa a.i., said, “We are increasingly concerned about the escalation of the road safety crisis. Road crashes not only take lives, they also take up much-needed health care resources in communities that often suffer from other severe health issues. Urgent action is need in order to reverse this trend. One of IFRC’s priorities is to build a culture of risk reduction and prevention and this includes improving road safety to save lives and build safer communities.”