Most African countries are faced with substantial challenges to meet their needs for road maintenance, rehabilitation and construction through public financing. The underfunding problems are not likely to be solved completely without increased participation from private sector investors. Thus in 2012 the SSATP member countries expressed the need for informed policy advice on private sector involvement in road financing, provision and management with focus on Public-Private-Partnerships (PPPs).
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.
In August 1996, the Heads of State of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) signed the Protocol on Transport, Communications and Meteorology, which sets a broad framework of regional cooperation between SADC Member States in the fields of transport, communications, and meteorology infrastructure and services. A primary objective of the Protocol is to promote the harmonization of policy, legislation, and administrative practices between member states to improve good governance within those sectors.
The report is based on the Interim Work Plan for 2001 issued in February 2001 following discussions with donors at the Initial General Assembly Meeting held in Copenhagen. At that time a three-year program had been presented and discussed, and it was agreed that this interim program should be prepared. This executive summary includes a presentation, in tabular form, of all the planned activities under the Interim Work Plan, and what was actually achieved.
In response to the deteriorating condition of the road network and the high associated economic costs, various stakeholder consultations were held during the 1980s under the umbrella of the Road Management Initiative (RMI), which set the broad outline of a new policy framework for the road sector.
The Sub-Sahara Africa Transport Program (SSATP) was launched in 1987 as a joint initiative of the World Bank and the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA) to improve transport sector performance by promoting policy reforms and institutional changes. The SSATP is a broad collaborative effort of national development aid agencies, international agencies (UNDP, ILO, and UNCTAD), and African institutions (i. a. UAR, MINCONMAR, PTA), with the World Bank and ECA acting as the Executing Agencies.
Following extensive consultations with both public and private sector stakeholders, the Road Management Initiative (RMI) formerly known as Road Maintenance Initiative was launched in the late 1980.s as a component of the Sub-Saharan Africa Transport Policy Program (SSATP). This program was led by the Africa Region Infrastructure Department of the World Bank and the Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA) in response to an increasing concern over deteriorating road infrastructure in Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) despite substantial capital investments by governments and donors.
The review presents an overview of the road sector in the seven UDEAC countries and in the Democratic Republic of Congo. It examines the adequacy of the infrastructure services as well as the efforts to improve financing and management and, thus, the sustainability of service and efficiency. The Central African Republic and Chad are the two truly landlocked countries in the region. However, the Democratic Republic of Congo also faces many of the same problems because of its vast land area and the narrow outlet to the Atlantic Ocean in the west.
Since the early 1990s, legal and institutional reform in the roads sector has received more attention in the Southern African Development Conference (SADC) region. This was prompted by the recognition that efforts to maintain and rehabilitate the region's road infrastructure would not deliver sustainable results unless accompanied by wide-ranging institutional strengthening, improved financing arrangements, and administrative reforms.