This joint World Bank/UNCTAD review proposes ways and means to improve the competitiveness of a country's international trade by: increasing the quality and reducing the associated costs of international transport; and reducing any possible transaction cost, adapting commercial practices to international standards, and removing any unnecessary trade barriers within the economic, social, and political context of that country. This report is organized as follows: Chapter 1 of the review provides definitions and introduces some basic concepts and criteria.
The main objective of these guidelines is to advise on how to approach the complex issue of competitiveness in trade, and on how to achieve cost savings in logistics by reducing the time of immobilization of freight in transit. The interaction between transport infrastructure and transport and trade logistics is such that investments in infrastructure facilities and equipment will not reduce costs unless the institutional and operational logistics moving the freight and documenting are free from institutional or physical interference.
The literature gives two explanations for contractors' reluctance to adopt labor-based methods. First, contractors believe the cost of learning this new technology is high. Programs designed to promote labor-based methods have always included subsidized training to address this problem. This study argues that focusing on training often diverts attention away from more substantive problems inherent in adopting labor-based methods.
Road transport is the dominant mode of transport in sub-Saharan Africa, carrying close to 90 percent of the region's passenger and freight transport, and providing the only access to rural communities where over 70 percent of Africans live. Despite their importance, most of the region's nearly 2 million km of roads are poorly managed and badly maintained. By 1990, nearly a third of the $150 billion invested in roads had been eroded through lack of maintenance.
The review presents an overview of the road sector in the seven UDEAC countries and in the Democratic Republic of Congo. It examines the adequacy of the infrastructure services as well as the efforts to improve financing and management and, thus, the sustainability of service and efficiency. The Central African Republic and Chad are the two truly landlocked countries in the region. However, the Democratic Republic of Congo also faces many of the same problems because of its vast land area and the narrow outlet to the Atlantic Ocean in the west.
Tanzania has been one of the countries at the forefront of reforms inspired by the Road Management Initiative. This paper focuses on some of the main challenges that the country now faces in consolidating an institutional structure: setting up both the road fund and a new main road agency to carry the reform process forward and secure sustainable improvements in road sector performance. The paper is based on extensive fieldwork and stakeholder interviews carried out in 2001 as well as on a review of the major lessons emerging from past reform experience in Tanzania.