Substantial international investment has gone into the rehabilitation of the road infrastructure in DRC, but little is known about the impact of road rehabilitation on the organisation of urban-rural transport or on rural people’s lives. This report is based on a survey among 1250 households in South Kivu, a review of the transport sector and qualitative community research.
The main findings are:
- The effects of road construction may be visible only in the long term. Roads appear to have a strong symbolic meaning and denote state building as well as a sense of development and dynamism.
- Rather than becoming a driver of the economy, poverty and governance conditions restrict the possibilities for enhancing transport by road construction.
- In post-conflict areas or weak states and recovering economies, more attention must be given to creating funds for road maintenance.
- Systematic attention must be paid to self-governance in the transport sector. Transport associations are strong and provide a high level of organisation of the sector and their role and impact needs to be understood.
- Little attention has been paid to developing governance for the transport sector, though large sums have been invested in road rehabilitation in post-conflict societies.
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