Facilitating trade flows between countries belonging to the same sub-region does not only require adequate transport infrastructure, or the availability of competitive and reliable transport services. Both will be used effectively only to the extent allowed by the legal framework governing their operations.
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.
Experiences in several Latin American countries, show the promises, and challenges of contracting out road maintenance, based on performance standards, rather than on the traditional way, which is based on a schedule of unit prices, and estimates of quantities.
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.
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.
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.
The report comprises the proceedings from the 2003 Annual Meeting of the Sub-Saharan Africa Transport Policy Program (SSATP), and presents discussions held with stakeholders, towards moving SSATP's long-term strategic objective - the development of transport sector policies and strategies, that contribute fully to the national poverty reduction objectives, and to the promotion of regional economic integration.
A comprehensive investigative study was implemented in 2002, on the status, and development of urban mobility in three Sub-Saharan African cities - Addis Ababa, Ethiopia; Nairobi, Kenya; and, Dar-es-Salaam, Tanzania. Its purpose was to gather information in terms of size, regional spread, and availability data, that would allow identification of issues affecting urban mobility in the related cities, and prepare action plans, that would lead to policy reforms.