Network Updates / Addis Ababa, Ethiopia / 2019-02-13

Ethiopia and Rwanda leading the way on car-free days in Africa:

Car-free days have become a fixture on calendars in Ethiopia and Rwanda's capital Kigali

Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
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It’s not often one gets to see young people play football in the middle of a major vehicle thoroughfare– earning them a tweet-out from FIFA– but the sight is becoming a regular affair in the capital of Ethiopia.

Two weekends ago marked the country’s third annual car-free day, with activities in cities across the country encouraging physical activity in what are often streets teeming with traffic.

According to allAfrica, the now-monthly event is driven by Ethiopia’s Ministry of Health to promote physical exercise among residents, while creating awareness on pollution by cars.

Apart from footballers, Addis Ababa saw skateboarders, runners and exercise enthusiasts out in force, mirroring car-free day pioneer Kigali, Rwanda, whose bi-monthly car-free day also took place the same weekend.

Main roads in Kigali are usually closed temporarily for residents to walk, jog and ride bicycles, a practice launched in 2016 as a monthly occasion but which has now become a bimonthly fixture on Kigali’s calendar.

See the BBC for photos from Ethiopia’s third monthly car-free day here.

Banner photo by FIFA.