This note analyzes the organization, profitability, and financing of private mass transit services in Abidjan, with an emphasis on private companies, operating minibuses commonly known as "gbakas". The Abidjan case study is part of a regional study launched early in 1999, under the urban mobility component of the Sub-Saharan Africa Transport Policy Program (SSATP), covering four cities: Abidjan, Bamako, Harare, and Nairobi, while the regional study was carried out by the Solidarite Internationale sur les Transports et la Recherche en Afrique Subsaharienne. (SITRASS).
The note examines the concession technique in railway operations, for the first time used in Sub-Saharan Africa, in Cote d'Ivoire and Burkina Faso, who jointly concessioned the Abidjan-Ouagadougou Railway to a private operator in December 1994.
This joint World Bank/UNCTAD review proposes ways and means to improve the competitiveness of a country's international trade by: increasing the quality and reducing the associated costs of international transport; and reducing any possible transaction cost, adapting commercial practices to international standards, and removing any unnecessary trade barriers within the economic, social, and political context of that country. This report is organized as follows: Chapter 1 of the review provides definitions and introduces some basic concepts and criteria.
While the document "Trade and Transport Facilitation - Audit Methodology" applies a practical approach to the general context of project evaluation, it appeared useful to expand, in particular, the section on Analysis of Corrective Measures, and compile the results within these guidelines.
This overview discusses the financial aspects of the four studies of urban transport microenterprises referred to in the Foreword. These studies covered far more than financial issues, since the objective was to understand how such enterprises operate, and to grasp all the factors which enter into play in this transport sub-sector, taking, if not a macroeconomic, then at least a meso-economic perspective.
Based on the experience of cities where two competitive, transport systems coexist - a large enterprise (private-public in the case of Harare) and, small vehicles enterprises (private sector), the former is subject to term limits, due to mediocre financial performance, and its need for subsidies. In the case of Harare, the Zimbabwe United Passenger Company (ZUPCO) have for quite some time, been a monopoly within the city's network, under private capital, and management, but has never satisfied the public transportation demands.
Among the capitals of West Africa, Bamako has been singled out because of a system of urban transport, in which the structured enterprises could never attain sustainability. This transport system, in fact controlled by the drivers union, remains undeniably inflexible, and inadaptable. However, the structure of its road network, the employment being concentrated downtown, i.e., conducive to traffic congestion particularly during rush hours, and to higher levels of pollution, are elements favoring improvements to the system.
The sustainable development of developing countries' cities, namely African, depends on the performance of its urban transport systems, in terms of efficiency, of transport costs, on the energy economy, and on congestion issues. Based on cities experience, two competitive transport systems coexist - that of the large enterprise (private, in the case of Nairobi) - and, that of local communal microenterprise, the former being subjected to term limits, due to mediocre financial performances, consequently to subsidies.
The main objective of these guidelines is to advise on how to approach the complex issue of competitiveness in trade, and on how to achieve cost savings in logistics by reducing the time of immobilization of freight in transit. The interaction between transport infrastructure and transport and trade logistics is such that investments in infrastructure facilities and equipment will not reduce costs unless the institutional and operational logistics moving the freight and documenting are free from institutional or physical interference.
The Urban Mobility component within the Sub-Saharan Africa Transport Policy Program (SSATP), is intended to improve, in a sustainable manner, the mobility conditions of urban populations in Sub-Saharan Africa. This document illustrates the actions, and framework of a subject which describes a touching issue regarding initiatives on the Strategic Development Plan of SSATP, in itself a platform for research, and exchange of experiences.