UN-Habitat official calls on East Africa to enact laws to spur electric mobility

2021-05-04 14:56:03 GMT2021-05-04 22:56:03(Beijing Time) Xinhua English

NAIROBI, May 4 (Xinhua) -- An official with the United Nations Human Settlements Programme (UN-Habitat) on Tuesday urged the East African countries to embark on developing legislation in readiness for the adoption of electric mobility.

Judith Owigar, consultant of smart cities and electric mobility at UN-Habitat said that laws should be enacted to guide the adoption and local assembling of electric vehicles and motorcycles.

"Adoption of electric mobility is capable to contribute to improving air quality and reducing climate emissions," Owigar said during a virtual meeting on electric mobility in East Africa held in Nairobi.

She urged countries in the region to learn from each other and develop legislations that accommodate their tax regimes.

Owigar commended Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania and Rwanda for initiating local assembling of electric buses, cars and motorcycles.

She said these countries should take into consideration gender and vulnerable groups as they develop electric cars and motorcycles.

"These projects will contribute significantly to reduction of air pollution and hence improving living standards of populations," said Owigar.

She said that the adoption of the technology is also an opportunity to develop renewable energy for charging the cars.

The official urged electric mobility experts from the region to register for a global electronic learning program on electric mobility that has been going on for some time.

Michael Muchiri, head of engineering unit at the State Department of Transport under Kenya's Ministry of Transport, Infrastructure, Housing, Urban Development and Public Works, said that a taxi operator in Nairobi with more than 30 vehicles has adopted a 100 percent use of electricity as opposed to petrol or diesel.

He said the firm has installed their charging premises in four locations, including Jomo Kenyatta International Airport where their drivers recharge the cars.

"All the charging sites are connected to the national grid by solar power as part of a strategy to promote the use of clean energy," said Muchiri.

He said that Kenya Bureau of Standards has developed 21 different standards on electric mobility in readiness for adoption of the technology in the country.

The virtual forum in Nairobi was aimed to examine the applicability of electric mobility in East Africa, based on experiences from practitioners in the region and beyond. Enditem