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Options for Managing and Financing Rural Transport Infrastructure

By Watson, Peter

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Book Id: WPLBN0000068632
Format Type: PDF eBook
File Size: 0.9 MB
Reproduction Date: 2005
Full Text

Title: Options for Managing and Financing Rural Transport Infrastructure  
Author: Watson, Peter
Language: English
Subject: Economics, Finance & business, World Bank.
Collections: Economics Publications Collection
Publication Date:
Publisher: The World Bank


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Watson, P. (n.d.). Options for Managing and Financing Rural Transport Infrastructure. Retrieved from


A fundamental requirement for making sustainable improvements to rural infrastructure is a clear understanding of who will own assets, who will finance maintenance, and how the capacity will be mobilized to assume management responsibilities. In the past the question of managing and financing rural roads has centered primarily on the role of governments. Given the acute scarcity of financial and human resources in Sub-Saharan Africa, there are simply too many kilometers of roads and paths in rural areas for any level of government to take responsibility for anything but a part of this network. Bringing more of this network under regular maintenance requires innovative ways of combining the financial and technical resources of the public and private sectors. A sustainable institutional and financial framework for maintaining rural roads, important paths, and footbridges must be built around at least two distinct categories of owners?local governments and communities (including non government entities such as farmers? groups and other private interests). Each category requires a set of coherent institutional and financial arrangements relying on collaboration among government, communities, and the private sector. Many industrial countries have established legal and financial arrangements that accommodate private ownership of roads at the highest level of the network, toll roads, and the lowest level, access roads. Private ownership of roads is highly cost-effective and efficient, especially at the lowest level of the network. Given the combined influence of two powerful trends in Sub-Saharan Africa?decentralization and the increased role of the private sector? the time is right to adopt institutional arrangements that encourage the largest private sector group, smallscale farmers, to assume ownership responsibilities for the lowest level of the network. Through the Rural Travel and Transport Program (RTTP), the World Bank is working with bilateral and multilateral donors, African governments, road users, and local constituents to improve rural accessibility. The RTTP is a component of the Sub-Saharan Africa Transport Policy Program (SSATP), a collaborative framework designed to improve transport policies and strengthen transport management. The purpose of this paper is to stimulate reform efforts and dialogue within countries.


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