Pedestrians walk on the streets of Kigali, Rwanda during the first car free day.Pedestrians walk on the streets of Kigali, Rwanda during the first car free day.

Kigali city has scored another first in Africa by declaring regular car free days.

The second car free day in Kigali happened last Sunday where people used roller, skates, skating boards and bicycles to get around the city, which is also the cleanest in Africa. The initiative will take place once a month on different routes.

Already, on the last Saturday in each month traffic is stopped for three hours in the morning, and the city comes together to tidy up in an initiative called umunsi w’umuganda (contribution made by the community).

On that day, all able-bodied people between 18 and 65 are required by law to participate in the clean-up.

“The move (car free day) is aimed at encouraging mass sports and exercise along the affected route through introducing the much anticipated green transport and green city,” according to City Mayor Monique Mukaruliza.


“In a bid to promote healthy lifestyle for the residents of Kigali, the City authorities have introduced mass sports and exercises, to encourage people to walk, jog as well as ride bicycles. It is in this context that we have introduced a monthly car-free day, and this month it will happen on May 29.”

Kigali residents were shown jogging while others were running or strolling on the five streets that had earmarked.

This is a stark contrast to Nairobi where pedestrians fight for space with bicycles, boda bodas, matatus and private cars (and litter and open manholes) for the congested roads every day of the year.

The initiative has however been well-received by Rwandans who took to Twitter to voice their approval of car free day.