The Decade of Action for Road Safety 2021-2030 was launched by the United Nations in October 2021  ( Under the lead of the WHO, a global plan has been drawn up to achieve the ambitious goal of preventing at least 50% of deaths and injuries from road accidents by 2030. This plan targets five areas for action:

  1. Road safety management
  2. Road safety and mobility
  3. Vehicle safety
  4. Road user behaviour
  5. Post-accident care

According to the WHO, nearly 1.2 million people die on the roads every year. This equates to more than 3,200 preventable deaths per day! Additionally, several million people are injured annually (WHO, 2023).

The third area of activity – vehicle safety – concerns me personally and my responsibilities at AiNA soa.

To carry out its activities throughout Madagascar, AiNA soa has 3 vehicles on the road: A Mazda BT50 4×4 nicknamed ‘Aarau’, a Renault Kangoo ‘Jura’ and a motorbike.

The majority of the vehicles in Madagascar are decommissioned vehicles from Europe that no longer meet the high requirements there or have long since been invalidated and shipped to Madagascar for further use. Only a small proportion are “as good as new” vehicles. All vehicles (except motorcycles) in Madagascar, at least in the capital where AiNA soa is stationed, have to undergo 1-2 technical inspections per year at a “traffic office”, depending on the type.

The technical inspection, which normally has three parts (mechanical, electronic and visual/external inspection), includes two at our place. They check the brakes, tires, lights, steering etc. and check the exterior of the vehicle for bodywork damage or fluid leaks. Neither technical skills nor the appropriate equipment are available for an electronic diagnosis. This part is merely a formality that is paid for by the inspectors before the required stamps or documents are issued for the next 6 – 12 months. In Europe, a comprehensive technical inspection for vehicles usually only takes place every 2 years. Although the procedures for a technical inspection may differ from one country to another, I think they can be completed in 30 minutes or 1 hour, depending on the type of vehicle. But in Madagascar, we need 2 hours or more for a car. Ironically, it’s the renewal of documents that takes much longer than the technical checks.

While such checks in Europe probably take a maximum of 30 – 45 minutes, in Madagascar you have to plan for at least 2-3 hours or more. Ironically, the renewal of documents often takes much longer than the actual check. While the actual check takes maybe 5 minutes, I usually wait a long time before this and then up to several hours for the documents to be legalized.

In my opinion, a technical inspection of vehicles is important if we want to ensure road safety. I’m concerned that here in Madagascar, road safety is not really a priority for those responsible, but rather the money and taxes that are collected through the inspections. In fact, the government has increased taxes by 100% since 2024. In a developing country like Madagascar such anomalies are common but are unfortunately sometimes seen as “normal”. Road safety is therefore still a long way off.

Good maintenance and inspection of our vehicles is very important to me – so I also regularly inspect and maintain “Aarau” and “Jura”, our cars, myself. The road conditions on our missions are often very challenging – we often have to drive for days to get to our locations, even if it’s only “a few kilometers away”. Since AiNA soa has had its own vehicles to carry out its various tasks, there has never been an accident. This is my greatest joy and brings great satisfaction and gratitude to my work.

I think all over the world, the safety of all road users must be given high priority, regardless of whether they are drivers, pedestrians or cyclists.  Regular maintenance of vehicles is important to reduce accidents, as we see again and again here in Madagascar.

That’s why I want to do my part with my job.

Greetings from Madagascar,

Maro, database and rolling stock manager