Accepted paper:

The road to salvation: from Dire Dawa to Harar


Rodolfo Soares (CEA)

Paper short abstract:

Reflecting about westernized ideas about road safety on the 50 kms road from Dire Dawa (1000m above sea level) to Harar (1800m above sea level), in Ethiopia.

Paper long abstract:

The 50 km road connecting Dire Dawa to Harar takes you into a unique journey. A distance that can be made in less than one hour will here be made in two. On this two hours ride, while staring out with gaze at the beauty of the landscape, one passes through a huge variety of places, small villages and meet exquisite people. Even if the mesmerizing landscapes offers an excellent distraction, it´s hard not to notice the wrecked trucks and the car carcasses on the sides of the road, the errant behavior of both drivers and pedestrians and the condition of the road. Some questions immediately arise: what does "road safety" mean here? Am I safe? How can improve security in such conditions? Who, the Government, the World Bank, the World Health Organization? Even if this answers do not seem to have a easy answer, one important question can be addressed: the validity of the westernized idea of "road" in a place where a road is more than just a road but a trail, a path to salvation.

panel P095
The road to perdition: road danger and predatory transport policies in Africa