March 01, 2003

Africa Accelerates Switch to Unleaded Gasoline

A survey carried out by UNEP, which is a leading member of the global Partnership for Clean Fuels and Vehicles, shows that Egypt, Libya, Mauritius and the Sudan are lead-free. This year Morocco, Reunion, Tunisia and Western Sahara will also fully phase out leaded gasoline.

An additional 22 countries, including Eritrea, Ghana, Kenya, Nigeria, South Africa, Togo and Uganda, have or are in the process of drawing up action plans to phase out leaded gas by 2005-2006. Plans are under way to bring the remaining countries on board, many of which are in Central Africa.

Currently, 90% of the world’s gasoline supplies are unleaded. The majority of leaded gasoline is used in developing countries, particularly in Africa, where its use causes brain damage to children. The World Bank is coordinating the effort to eliminate leaded gasoline under its Clean Air Initiative in Sub-Saharan Africa. The program was officially launched in July, 2001 at a regional conference held in Dakar, Senegal.

For more information:

The World Bank’s Clean Air Initiative in Sub-Saharan Africa

The United Nations Environment Program’s Press Release

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