Over the past two decades, African governments and regional economic communities (RECs) have been, and are continuing, to reform their transport sector policy and strategies. The extent of policy reform is far-reaching and involves integrating transport policy and national economic growth and poverty reduction policies; setting up road funds; creating road agencies; concessioning railway operations; liberalizing port operations and concessioning container terminals; setting up one-stop border post operations, harmonizing regional and national transport regulations and so on. These policy reforms championed by SSATP and backed by financial support from donors have led to improved infrastructure and related services for users and beneficiaries.
Transport agencies in many SSATP countries continue to monitor their transport sector operations. Monitoring and measuring policy performance is becoming common practice in countries that have a road sector development program (RSDP) or similar plan. Similarly, corridor management committees are developing monitoring systems to measure corridor performance. However the extent of measuring policy at a country and sectorial level varies from country to country.
SSATP national coordinators and the REC Transport Coordinating Committee (REC-TCC) have debated the issues of data collection, indicators and the necessity of a transport sector policy review at several recent meetings. These meetings include the REC-TCC meeting in Nairobi in May 2010 and a series of national coordinators’ meetings held in Nairobi in May, Bujumbura, Entebbe, and Ouagadougou in September 2010. These meetings brought together representatives from 21 countries and provided useful insights and suggestions into the why, what and how of a policy performance review.
The review commenced in August 2012 and will focus on six countries: Ethiopia, Zambia, Ghana, Burkina Faso, Benin and Gabon. To measure policy performance the review will use the thematic areas of SSATP’s current development plan i.e: Comprehensive pro-poor and pro-growth transport sector strategies; Sustainable institutional and financial arrangements for road infrastructure and rural and urban transport strategies; and Improvement of transit transport along selected corridors.