There are over one and a half million km of roads in Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA), including 554,000 km of main roads. Almost without exception, these roads are managed by bureaucratic government roads departments. The roads carry 80 to 90 percent of the region's passenger and freight traffic, absorb 5 to 10 percent of central government recurrent budgets and 10 to 20 percent of their development budgets.
As part of a series intended to share information about issues raised in various Sub-Saharan Africa Transport Policy Program (SSATP) reports, this note is the first part, addressing the road sector reform process in Ghana, still challenged by political, economic, and social forces.
In August 1996, the Heads of State of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) signed the Protocol on Transport, Communications and Meteorology, which sets a broad framework of regional cooperation between SADC Member States in the fields of transport, communications, and meteorology infrastructure and services. A primary objective of the Protocol is to promote the harmonization of policy, legislation, and administrative practices between member states to improve good governance within those sectors.
The note is based on a review of experience with the operation of second-generation Road Funds in Benin, Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, and Zambia. Findings of this review are based on an assessment of the structure, and process of setting up, and implementing the Road Funds, as well as an assessment of the objective achievements to date. While all countries have not moved at the same pace, they have progressed to various stages to introduce institutional, and financial reforms, in the spirit of the Road Management Initiative.