Ghana loses up to $10 billion dollars of its annual Gross Domestic Product (GDP) to deaths linked to road crashes, according to a road safety researcher at the Johns Hopkins International Injury Research Unit.
This makes the cost of revenue losses to Ghana annually higher than the revenue generated from the export of cocoa and gold put together, Dr. Isaac Botchwey said to Citi News.
Meanwhile, road traffic deaths recorded in Ghana are higher than deaths from Malaria, HIV and Tuberculosis.
Dr. Isaac Botchwey, in an interview with Citi News, further explained the statistics and underscored the need for a multi-sectoral approach to reverse the economic losses to the nation.
“When you put that in perspective, you realise that we are having an estimate of about $6 billion to $10 billion annually from road crash deaths and that is huge.”
“If you are looking at the economic argument, the cost or losses as a country is higher than the amount of revenue we get from cocoa. It is higher than the amount of revenue we get from our gold.”
This is in tandem with external research like the 2018 World Bank study which noted that countries that do not invest in road safety could miss out on anywhere between 7 percent and 22 percent in potential per capita GDP growth over a 24-year period.
According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), road crashes amount to approximately 1 percent of the GDP.
In middle-income countries, the cost is 1.5 percent of the GDP.
Dr. Isaac Botchwey also commended Citi TV’s War Against Indiscipline campaign that was done in partnership with the Ghana Police Service.
He stated that the campaign helped to minimize speeding which is one of the risk factors in road crashes.
The National Road Safety Authority has indicated that Ghana has recorded over 1,585 deaths since the end of August 2020.
These deaths came from the 9,205 road crashes that occurred in that period.
“This situation represents a relative increase from the situation over the same period of last year with a 0.34 percent increase in the number of crashes,” according to the Director-General of authority, May Obiri Yeboah.