General Knowledge
The World Bank
Published in
Submitted by
Olim Latipov
Related theme(s)
Finances & Economics, Urban Mobility
Africa (AFR)

Profitability and Financing of Urban Public Transport Microenterprises in Sub-Saharan Africa

An overview of the regional study conducted in Abidjan, Bamako, Nairobi and Harare. Financial behaviors in the four cities are very typical of what one would expect in this “informal” sector, although this term is somewhat ambiguous and is only partially applicable to urban transport. The study concludes by underscoring the limitations of policies that promote indiscriminate financial assistance, and by emphasizing the benefit of financing higher-capacity vehicles and – no doubt paradoxically – the more successful operations, in the interests of gradual development of a sector with an entrepreneurial structure. While these studies covered far more than financial issues, since the objective was to understand how such enterprises operate, and to grasp all the factors which enter into play in this transport subsector, taking, if not a macroeconomic, then at least a meso-economic perspective; the financial issues appeared particularly relevant, and it was thought advisable to examine financial arrangements that would encourage replacement, and to assess their feasibility in the cities studied. While the subject had already been dealt with in each of the monographs, a more targeted discussion of it was considered desirable.