Echoes of WRC Safari rally: time to start driving on right side of the road like other nations

Adrien Fourmaux co-driven by Alexandrie Coria from France driving FORD Puma at Elmentaita Ranch during WRC Safari Rally Kenya in Naivasha on March 30, 2024. [Stafford Ondego, Standard]

One easy way to set Nigerians against Ghanaians is to ask them who has better food. Having visited both, I would pick Ghana.

Let’s add that there isn’t much difference in cuisine between the two countries known for spices, soups, plantain and fufu. Compare West African food with Kenyan food?

We are jokers in capital letters. 

 My visit to the two counties was not about food. I was on an intellectual pilgrimage where I quickly noted both keep right on the road.

This was perplexing; the two countries were former British colonies.

Britain or better United Kingdom (UK) has adamantly kept left when the rest of Europe keep right. We inherited that too. Ghana and Nigeria shifted to right. Ghana in 1974 and Nigeria in 1972.

It could be American influence or the simple fact that their neighbours are former French colonies and keep right, like Rwanda.

I would like to hear the experience of truck drivers who drive into Rwanda and have to keep right. I remember my own experience on American highways. 

In the spirit of World Rally Championship (WRC) should we not shift to the right like Ghana and Nigeria? It makes a lot of economic sense.

Transport network

One, we shall be closer to the rest of the world. Only 30 per cent of the countries in the world keep left. And only 15 countries in Africa are left. Why not join the majority? 

Two that will make logistics and transport more efficient with same driving protocols.

I am sure Nigeria and Ghana got easily integrated into the transport network of the region.

Why should members of the East African community be driving on different sides of the road? 

Three, tourism will gain. Our tourists could now hire cars and drive themselves around. We deny them that freedom by keeping left.

Remember majority come from countries that drive on the right.

Four, cars will become cheaper, we can source them from more countries that drive on the right. An increase in supply lead to a fall in prices; demand will not shoot up overnight.  

Shifting to the right will have economic dividends for both hustlers and non-hustlers. Why not try it.

That could be one of the lasting legacies of Kenya Kwanza government or is it hustler movement.