Facilitating trade flows between countries belonging to the same sub-region does not only require adequate transport infrastructure, or the availability of competitive and reliable transport services. Both will be used effectively only to the extent allowed by the legal framework governing their operations.
There are over one and a half million km of roads in Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA), including 554,000 km of main roads. Almost without exception, these roads are managed by bureaucratic government roads departments. The roads carry 80 to 90 percent of the region's passenger and freight traffic, absorb 5 to 10 percent of central government recurrent budgets and 10 to 20 percent of their development budgets.
This is Part 3 of a series intended to share information about issues raised in various Sub-Saharan Africa Transport Policy Program (SSATP) reports, and the note addresses the impact, and lessons learned from road sector reforms in two countries: Burkina Faso, and Ghana. While Burkina Faso's reforms are more structured, and planned, Ghana's more complex political, and economic history have had greater influence on road sector reforms than any attempt at advance planning.
As part of a series intended to share information about issues raised in various Sub-Saharan Africa Transport Policy Program (SSATP) reports, this note is the first part, addressing the road sector reform process in Ghana, still challenged by political, economic, and social forces.
This note is based on the Road Management Initiative (RMI) Country Coordinator for Kenya, Mr. F.N. Nyangaga's progress report, presented to the World Road Congresses in Kuala Lumpur, 1999. The RMI has, over the past ten years, worked with interested African countries to identify the underlying causes of poor road management policies, and to develop an agenda of reforms that will facilitate sustainable management of the public road networks.
The key features of the road reform process initiated in Uganda are: (a) development of an analytical basis to review different road financing and management options; (b) commitment and ownership of the reform program; (c) perception of transport as one of the important sectors of the economy; and (d) development of a sector investment policy and plan.