The landlocked countries in West & Central Africa are characterized by large trade imbalances, with export-import ratios below 30 percent, and an overwhelming reliance on road transport. While further improvements in infrastructure are still much needed, policy reforms that reduce costs and increase competition in transport and logistics services are now critical. However, the political economy of the necessary reforms is complex and not well understood.
The note is based on a review of the road sector within the member countries of the Customs and Economic Union of Central African States (UDEAC), and describes the road network, indicating conditions on the main paved network remained fairly stable during the last decade, mostly due to massive rehabilitation efforts - donor funded - not the result of regular maintenance efforts. As for unpaved roads, data indicates deterioration, likely caused by inadequate maintenance, and heavier traffic.
The report presents findings, and the way forward in respect of the Knowledge and Research (KAR) Project on vehicle operations in Sub-Saharan Africa, basically undertaken in Uganda and Ghana. In the first phase, the study identified problems faced by transport operators in both countries, and analyzed their impact on vehicle operating costs, as well as examining transport regulations, and current organization of transport services and their impact on vehicle utilization.