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         Transport Sector

The Transport Sector Project supported by Credit 2126-CA for US$62 million was approved in FY90. Cofinancing was provided by the Japanese International Cooperation Agency (US$15.1 million), the French Fonds d’Aide et de Coopération and Caisse Française de Développement (US$16.7 million), the German Kreditanstalft für Wiederaufbau and Gesellschaft für Technische Zusammenarbeit (US$6.9 million), the European Union (US$1.8 million) and UNDP (US$2.8 million). The project closed on schedule in FY96. The loan was fully disbursed. The Implementation Completion Report was prepared by the Africa Regional Office. No comments from the Borrower or the Cofinanciers are included.

The project was conceived to support a transport sector investment program and was intended to form part of a more coordinated approach avoiding the interruptions to donor financing caused by individual projects. The policy objectives included more efficient investment allocation, strengthened institutional capacity, expanding the role of both the private sector and communities in road maintenance, and environmental protection. The project had four components: (i) rehabilitation and maintenance of 4,740km of paved and unpaved roads; (ii) provision of related equipment and vehicles, strengthening local contractors and improvements to road safety and environmental protection; (iii) river transport including studies on flow regulation and tariffs and improved maintenance capacity; air transport involving better security measures and studies; and, (iv) institutional improvements in the two relevant ministries covering workshop and laboratory management, and training.

The project achieved its ambitious objectives only partially. Political unrest and weak commitment handicapped the project and although a number of the physical objectives were somewhat successful, the required policy reforms, administrative changes and financial objectives were not achieved. 55 percent of the road works targeted at appraisal were completed, airport security undertaken, one third of the target staff trained and technical assistance delivered supervision, studies and improved computerized control systems satisfactorily. The Road Fund, seen as an important means of future sustainability for road maintenance was not managed well and suffered misuse. The use of local contractors for road maintenance was disappointing (26 percent instead of the targeted 70 percent of total Road Fund use) and government continued to carry out road works by force account. No funds were used on road safety and the decision to privatize the workshop deferred. The analysis of project benefits focused on the vehicle maintenance savings from road improvements. The economic rate of return at appraisal of 18 percent (paved), 32 percent (gravel and earth) and 20 percent (rural roads) compare with 57 percent (paved) and 28 percent (earth) at completion.

The ICR rates the project’s overall outcome as unsatisfactory, sustainability as uncertain, institutional development as modest, and Bank performance as satisfactory. OED upgrades the outcome rating to marginally unsatisfactory, but agrees with the ICR’s other two ratings. The outcome rating is modified to reflect the physical and institutional achievements and the positive rate of return, even though the project did not effectively complete its physical targets nor make progress towards the reorganizational, financial and divestment targets.

Key lessons of the project are (i) the need to tailor objectives, especially those involving policy reform, to the capacity of the Borrower, and (ii) the need to take account of the increased risks of weak coordination and different priorities when several cofinanciers are involved, and to allow larger resources for supervision in such cases.

The ICR is of satisfactory quality, although the absence of a completion mission, canceled because of political disturbances, and the lack of Borrower and Cofinancier comments makes the review less informative.

An audit is planned.

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