The Togo Transport Rehabilitation Project, supported by Credit 1861-TO for US$40 million equivalent, was approved in FY88. The fully-disbursed credit was closed in FY97, three years behind schedule. The Implementation Completion Report (ICR) was prepared by the Africa Region. The Borrower's report is included as an Appendix. The project was cofinanced by the European Development Fund, the United Nations Development Program and bilateral financing from France and Germany.
No comments were provided by the co-financiers.
The project's objectives were to: (i) reduce transport costs through improved management of transport infrastructure and improved regulatory and fiscal environment for transport services and (ii) enhance the country's earning from transit trade. To achieve these objectives, the project included the following: (a) measures to improve sectoral management and planning; (b) a three year program of road rehabilitation and maintenance, including trunk as well as feeder roads and selected upgrading of the road network; (c) preparation and implementation of an action plan for the railway company (CFT); (d) actions to improve road safety; (e) measures to protect roads and mining installations against coastal erosion; (f) measures to improve cost recovery; (g) studies to prepare a follow up project.
Overall, objectives were partially achieved. Only half of the largest physical component, rehabilitation of about 300 km of paved roads, was completed. In part, this resulted from increased road degradation prior to launching the works, which led to higher rehabilitation costs. Other physical components were only partially completed as well; some of these components did not have clearly defined targets. Following a long-lasting political crisis (1991-1993), most of the donors pulled out, so that non-IDA financed project components were either severely curtailed, as was the case of the coastal protection component, or abandoned, such as the upgrading of feeder roads. On the institutional side, sectoral management was strengthened, but the procurement process was not improved and no mechanism was established to remedy the chronic shortage of funding for road maintenance, the restructuring of the railway was not carried out and the government failed to address redundancies. However, management of CFT was contracted out to an international private operator and the operational network was scaled down.
OED, confirming the ratings in the ICR, rates project outcome as unsatisfactory, institutional development as modest, sustainability as unlikely and Bank performance as unsatisfactory mainly because the project was poorly designed and had deficient quality at entry, which supervision failed to redress in part because of a high turnover in Bank supervision personnel.
The main lesson of this operation is that a project with a multiplicity of components and vaguely defined targets is not likely to succeed, unless it is restructured and objectives and components revised early during implementation, A second lesson is that a project supported by a high percentage of cofinancing may suffer if co-financiers withdraw their support during implementation. OED recognizes that much work went into this ICR, that it is detailed, its ratings are sound, and the lessons it derives are useful.
However, the ICR has notable gaps in comparing project objectives with actual achievements, the economic analysis does not factor in sustainability, does not have a plan of operations beyond referring to the follow-on project, and fails to indicate whether co-financiers were invited to comment on the ICR. These shortcomings detract from an otherwise satisfactory ICR.
No audit is planned.