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.
Concerned by the poor state of the road network in most of its member countries, the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA) has been promoting reforms to help regional integration for effective transport services. COMESA has taken an interest in the Road Maintenance Initiative (RMI), which has been working with nine pilot countries, five of which are within the COMESA area, on ways to make road maintenance sustainable. Twelve COMESA countries were reviewed.
The key features of the road reform process initiated in Uganda are: (a) development of an analytical basis to review different road financing and management options; (b) commitment and ownership of the reform program; (c) perception of transport as one of the important sectors of the economy; and (d) development of a sector investment policy and plan.