African road experts begin 2-day meeting in Accra

Road experts from 12 African countries have began a two-day meeting in Accra to brainstorm research findings of cost effective methods of rural road transport system for the continent.

It is aimed at adopting scientific methods of addressing road infrastructure challenges at a moderate cost.

The research is to also seek new designs of rural transport system, nature of surfacing of roads as well as the alternatives in addressing black spots on rural roads.

The UK.AID-funded project undertaken by the programme management unit of the Research for Community Access Partnership (ReCAP) in collaboration with the African Community Access Partnership (AfCAP).

The experts are from Ethiopia, Kenya, Liberia, Malawi, Mozambique, Sierra Leone, south Sudan, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia and the host country, Ghana.

The Deputy Minister of Roads and Highways, Mr. Anthony Abeifa Karbo, on behalf of the sector minister said, poor rural accessibility to distance markets and socio-economic services remained a problem for most African countries.

That attributed to poverty that was still predominant in the rural communities in parts of the continent.

Mr. Karbo stated that though various measures were being undertaken by various African governments to meet rural transport needs of the people their expectations had still not been met and remain high.

He said more than 50 per cent of Ghana’s road network was in the rural areas where accessibility and mobility continues to be a major challenge.

“ The cost of road maintenance continues to soar thus calling for ingenious ways to reduce the burden, hence the need for the research into better alternatives including better technologies and cost effective methods for rural road transport systems” he said.

The Deputy Minister commended the efforts of the AfCAF project aimed at achieving cost effective transport system in rural communities adding, that, “Ghana is therefore committed to the application of the research studies for scaling up rural transport improvement”.

Mr. Karbo urged the participants to share experiences across the continent from research benefits offered by the AfCAP in order to rich ideas during the deliberations.

The programme Director of ReCAP, Mr. Gerome Rich said the findings would help improve access to markets, education and social services in rural communities in order to lift the people out of poverty.

By Lawrence Vomafa Akpalu

 

 

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