The Problems Facing Labor-based Road Programs and What to Do About Them -- Evidence from Ghana

The literature gives two explanations for contractors' reluctance to adopt labor-based methods. First, contractors believe the cost of learning this new technology is high. Programs designed to promote labor-based methods have always included subsidized training to address this problem. This study argues that focusing on training often diverts attention away from more substantive problems inherent in adopting labor-based methods.

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Restructuring Highway Agencies -- The FinnRa Case: Options for Africa?

Until the late 1970s, the Finnish Road and Waterways Administration (RWA) operated as a highly centralized agency. Then RWA started its gradual reforms. In the mid 1980s, RWA began evolving into a market-oriented road administration. As part of the reform process, there have been profound changes in competition law, principles of public procurement, and in the legislation enabling the creation of state-owned enterprises and the commercialization of government agencies.

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Privately Financed Infrastructure -- A Concession Company’s Point of View

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.

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Road Sector Reform: A Tale of Two Countries, (Part 1) Ghana -- Serendipity or Foresight?

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.

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Improving Management and Financing of Roads in Central African States -- Review of the Road Sector in Member Countries of the Customs and Economic Union of Central African States (UDEAC)

The note is based on a review of the road sector within the member countries of the Customs and Economic Union of Central African States (UDEAC), and describes the road network, indicating conditions on the main paved network remained fairly stable during the last decade, mostly due to massive rehabilitation efforts - donor funded - not the result of regular maintenance efforts. As for unpaved roads, data indicates deterioration, likely caused by inadequate maintenance, and heavier traffic.

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African Road Funds: What Works and Why?

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.

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Management and Financing of Roads: An Agenda for Reform -- Full text

Road transport is the dominant mode of transport in sub-Saharan Africa, carrying close to 90 percent of the region's passenger and freight transport, and providing the only access to rural communities where over 70 percent of Africans live. Despite their importance, most of the region's nearly 2 million km of roads are poorly managed and badly maintained. By 1990, nearly a third of the $150 billion invested in roads had been eroded through lack of maintenance.

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Commercializing Africa’s Roads: Transforming the Role of the Public Sector

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.

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The Economics of Traffic Safety

The note examines several possible entry points for debating the economics of traffic safety, namely, the supply side approach, which addresses the cost of accidents to society, and those affected by it; the demand side approach, which addresses the willingness of people to pay, to avoid or curb accidents; the macroeconomic consequences of traffic accidents, and of measures to improve safety, raising questions on the impact of traffic safety on economic growth - an issue subject to much misunderstanding; and, who is responsible, or should pay for.

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