Based on the experience of cities where two competitive, transport systems coexist - a large enterprise (private-public in the case of Harare) and, small vehicles enterprises (private sector), the former is subject to term limits, due to mediocre financial performance, and its need for subsidies. In the case of Harare, the Zimbabwe United Passenger Company (ZUPCO) have for quite some time, been a monopoly within the city's network, under private capital, and management, but has never satisfied the public transportation demands.
Among the capitals of West Africa, Bamako has been singled out because of a system of urban transport, in which the structured enterprises could never attain sustainability. This transport system, in fact controlled by the drivers union, remains undeniably inflexible, and inadaptable. However, the structure of its road network, the employment being concentrated downtown, i.e., conducive to traffic congestion particularly during rush hours, and to higher levels of pollution, are elements favoring improvements to the system.
The sustainable development of developing countries' cities, namely African, depends on the performance of its urban transport systems, in terms of efficiency, of transport costs, on the energy economy, and on congestion issues. Based on cities experience, two competitive transport systems coexist - that of the large enterprise (private, in the case of Nairobi) - and, that of local communal microenterprise, the former being subjected to term limits, due to mediocre financial performances, consequently to subsidies.
The Urban Mobility component within the Sub-Saharan Africa Transport Policy Program (SSATP), is intended to improve, in a sustainable manner, the mobility conditions of urban populations in Sub-Saharan Africa. This document illustrates the actions, and framework of a subject which describes a touching issue regarding initiatives on the Strategic Development Plan of SSATP, in itself a platform for research, and exchange of experiences.
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.
The stakes are high for Sub-Saharan Africa transport sector: the need to lower merchandises transportation costs, and conversely, offer an increasingly growing urban population, adequate means of transportation. For much too long, citizens grew accustomed to government subsidies (to cover deficits due to mismanagement) of public enterprises now in disarray, and lacking credit. Common transport offer is dominated by private enterprises, which in order to be sustainable, need to raise prices, and operate under quasi delinquent conditions.