Africa is facing three urgent transport challenges: 1) the continent has the highest rate of road fatalities in the world; 2) it has an unprecedented growth rate of urbanization; and 3) it has the highest transport costs in the world. Over the next 25 years, an additional 500 million people will live in African cities, yet many of these cities are ill-equipped to provide safe, reliable and sustainable transport for all. The time has come to address these challenges and search for solutions through knowledge sharing and research findings in the African transport sector.

The Africa Transport Policy Program (SSATP), an international partnership  who aims to facilitate policy development and related capacity-building in the transport sector in Africa, hosted by the World Bank Group, has taken the lead for the establishment of a research network of African universities, in association with the World Conference on Transport Research Society (WCTRS) and the World Research Institute (WRI), to address the above challenges and unleash the transport research potential within these institutions.

This initiative was launched on January 12th, 2018 during the session “Promoting Research and the African Universities Network” at the Transforming Transportation Forum in Washington, DC. A letter of intent was signed by officials of the World Bank, the World Research Institute (WRI), the World Conference on Transport Research Society (WCTRS), the University of Nairobi (UoN), the University of Dar es Salam (UoDS), the University of Johannesburg (UoJ), the University of Dakar (UCAD), and the Institut National Polytechnique de Yamoussoukro (INP HB). All the parties involved will collaborate towards developing cooperative research activities (joint research, exchange and joint training programs) in the African transport sector to further develop the research potential of African universities and strengthen institutional capacity on a continental level.

This cooperation agreement will offer a unique chance for the creation, development and centralization of transport research on the African continent. This platform will undoubtedly provide support for African countries to develop sound policies and strategies that will lead to efficient, safe and sustainable transport for the people in Africa.

SSATP is an international partnership of over 40 African countries, Regional Economic Communities, continental institutions (African Union Commission), U.N. agencies (United Nations Economic Commission for Africa), public and private sector organizations, and international development agencies and organizations. SSATP is funded by European Commission, French development Agency, African Development bank and Swiss Secretariat of Economic Cooperation and hosted by the World Bank’s Transport and ICT Global Practice. For more information on the SSATP, please visit our website in English and in French at www.ssatp.org