Establishing public transport authorities in African cities to meet rising urban challenges

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  • Advocacy

Over the next 20 years there will be an additional 300 million urban residents in Africa and, by 2050, it’s projected that 60% of Africans will live in cities. Urban areas face poor land use planning, inefficient basic services delivery, due to inadequate infrastructure provision, inadequate transport means and services, unregulated traffic growth and mix leading to increasing congestion and pollution.

Moreover, many policy and decision makers do not realise that urban transport management is not only different from intercity transport, but is also more complex and challenging. This lack of understanding, coupled with inadequate technical, institutional and financial capacities constitute barriers to responding to needs of urban transport and mobility management and the associated challenges. 

It is within this context that the Africities Summit took place, from 20-24 November 2018, in Marrakech. Organised by our partners, United Cities and Local Governments (UCLG)-Africa, this event has gathered more than 8,000 stakeholders of African local life as well as their partners from other regions of the world: ministers, mayors, officials of local and central administrations, civil society organisations, associations and trade unions, economic operators of the public and private sectors, researchers and academics and international cooperation agencies.

Throughout various Summit sessions, UITP shared guiding principles and hands-on experience in policy development and governance reform, and the approaches adopted in developing comprehensive strategies for a complex multidimensional urban mobility system through four pillars: vision, governance & institutional framework/ regulation, financial stable framework and political leadership.

In relation to the roadmap to a proper governance and strong institutional framework, in collaboration with the Africa Transport Policy Program (SSATP), we have launched our joint Policy Brief on Establishing a Public Transport Authority (PTA) in African cities.

“Cities in Africa are facing many challenges, urban mobility amongst them. Together with the AVOID, SHIFT and IMPROVE principles, ENABLE (meaning improving governance and building knowledge and capacity) is a critical part of the solution. We are happy to see that many decision-makers across the continent are willing to join our Mobility Champions Community to lead the transition to healthy and liveable cities”, siad Dionisio González, UITP Director of Advocacy & Outreach. 

Cities in Africa are facing many challenges, urban mobility amongst them

This Policy Brief argues for the establishment of Public Transport Authorities (PTAs) in Africa and shares some key principles and guidelines on how to do so successfully, based on the UITP Organising Authorities Committee (OAC) and SSATP experience.

Creating capacities to manage mobility is essential to the development of African cities. From this perspective, many cities in Africa see the benefits of establishing a PTA to regulate and administer transport. It consists in integrating all transport functions in one institutional structure at a local/metropolitan sphere of government with the aim of delivering the long-term goal of effective, integrated, interoperable and intermodal transport systems.

The Policy Brief urges African leaders to consider all pre-requisites in order to establish a PTA to ensure its success and sustainability. The establishment and continuous operation of PTAs is underpinned by the power to act, long-term planning, investment capacity, a strong partnership approach and a data-driven strategy.

This Policy Brief is just the first product of our fruitful partnership with SSATP. Stay tuned for more on that later!

Download the Policy Brief here to get the full list of recommendations!

The Policy Brief is also available in French here!

Find out more about the Mobility Champions Community here!

Head to our dedicated website for more information about our activities in the African region


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