Current rural travel and transport are dominated by head loading and walking (largely by women) to satisfy the daily travel and goods movement needs of rural populations in sub - Saharan Africa (SSA). Although rural roads and off-road transport may interact synergistically, with each amplifying the economic and social impact of the other, this interaction has not been directly studied or quantified. When intermediate means of transport (IMTs) have been introduced in the past and used in the transport system, private individuals have usually developed and reaped the benefits.
This report, prepared under the Rural Travel and Transport Project of the sub - Saharan Africa Transport Program (SSATP), presents findings from a review of 127 projects with rural road components in SSA. The review highlights key policy changes discussed under the main headings of planning, design and technology, resource mobilization, and sectoral organization and institutional performance. Planning is seen as a process involving key constituencies at various levels rather than a methodology.
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.