During the first period the Bank's main concern was to find ways of relieving urban traffic congestion. This mainly involved the prescription of traffic management, road rehabilitation and road construction. It also involved helping the formal public transport sector become more efficient and building local capabilities to plan, implementation and monitor traffic management schemes. This focus is reflected in the projects undertaken in the Cote d'Ivoire, Mali, Senegal, Cameroon and Zimbabwe.
Under a concession system the state grants a franchise the right to finance, build, own, operate, and maintain a public infrastructure for a given period, and to charge users for that service. Concessions are normally stand-alone, single-purpose entities that are expected to finance themselves eventually, if not initially, without recourse to their shareholders. They are independent corporate entities run by a dedicated staff that seeks career advancement within the concession company. Invariably, the successful concession has been created because of a compelling economic need.