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.
The basic premises of the Program are that: (i) policy reform is essential to obtain improved provision of transport services; and (ii) countries and their development partners need to collaborate within the framework of a common vision of policies and strategies in the sector. The SSATP is concentrating on assisting African countries in their efforts to build capacity for designing and implementing these premises. Capacity building is now firmly the focus of the Program.
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.