This paper reviews experience with the operation of selected African road funds. Although most African road funds suffer from systematic problems, this review identifies examples of best practice and provides guidance on how to design a road fund that works. The paper has mainly been written for a technical audience and is directed toward officials in developing countries, Bank Task Managers, and officials in other development agencies working to improve the operation of road funds. It is also written for consultants involved in setting up new road funds, or restructuring existing ones.
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.
Upon the request of the World Bank, the Institute of Transport Economics, Norway did an appraisal of the road safety situation and road safety work in five African countries: Benin, Cote d'Ivoire, Kenya, Tanzania, and Zimbabwe. The overall objective of the evaluation was to identify key measures that would reduce fatalities, personal injuries, and material damage from road accidents in Africa. The information was collected through visits to the five countries.