An Investigation into the Role of Transport Operator Associations in Shaping Transport Services in Africa’s Rural Areas

This final report contains the overall findings of the literature review, interviews and field research undertaken in order to investigate the role of transport operator associations in shaping transport services in rural areas of Sub-Saharan Africa. This AFCAP-funded study explored the role of both public and private transport operator associations in influencing issues such as routing, scheduling and fare setting. The research also explored the role the associations play in shaping rural access as well as the influence they have regarding road safety issues and interaction with police, authorities and other relevant actors. It builds on AFCAP’s review of rural transport services. The literature review revealed that there is very little knowledge of how transport operator associations actually work in rural areas and what positive and negative effects they have on the operation of commercially viable rural transport services. The literature review and small field research study enabled some promising
practices to be identified that show potential for replication/scale up, including strengthening associations, supporting the creation of new associations, promoting cooperation between authorities and associations, mentoring schemes for small operators and capacity building opportunities. A number of specific future research areas and opportunities for demonstration projects have also been identified.