Africa Transport Technical Note No. 25

This overview of the road transport sector in Sub-Saharan African (SSA) countries, includes an analysis of current status, and developments since 1989, and examines forty seven countries in four regions: the Southern Africa Development Community (SADC) region, which given its large, and more advance economy compared to other countries, has been treated as a separate entity in this review; the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA) region; the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) region; and, the Union Douaniere et Economique de l'Afrique Central (UDEAC) region. The note examines the road network in SSA, specifying that while the deteriorating conditions of a large part of the main roads is a matter of great concern, the conditions of the local rural, and urban roads may be even more alarming. This fact may, to a large extent, be explained by insufficient funding for road maintenance. Roads management is then reviewed, revealing existing, similar constraints, weak capacity, and poor service delivery. However, the dramatic change in road maintenance activities indicate a clear trend towards replacement of force account brigades, with private sector contractors. Experience shows that road boards, particularly for the management of road funds, create a useful environment to influence road maintenance funding, and accountability.

File Type: 
Date of Publication (Year): 
nov 1999
Ole Kr. Sylte