Assessing the Socio-Economic Impacts of Rural Road Improvements in Ghana: A Case Study of Transport Sector Program (II)

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Roads are the predominant mode of transport in African countries, and represent a critical element for economic development. In Ghana, this reliance has led to major investments in road construction, including an initiative—the Ghana Transport Sector Program Support—that focuses on revitalizing rural economies and reducing poverty by prioritizing the improvement and maintenance of rural feeder road systems. This research employs a case study approach to assess the socio-economic impacts of rural road improvements in the three northern regions of Ghana. The study measured ex ante/ex post changes in household income and expenditures, crop production, the usage of motorized vehicles, access to markets, school and health facilities, and transport charges. The analysis revealed that road improvements led to dramatic growth in these indicators along each subject road corridor during the initial phase of the program. However, indicators grew to a minor degree or declined during the second phase. The analysis attributes this change to soaring fuel prices impacting freight and passenger charges. These findings suggest that Ghana should better coordinate road maintenance programs with the development of alternative fuels. This strategy would include utilization of natural gas reserves of the Jubilee oil field with a program that would develop natural gas fuels and alternative fuel vehicles. The use of alternative fuel vehicles in concert with rural road improvements could improve access and make transport less vulnerable to petroleum market fluctuations.


Urban and Regional Studies

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Case Studies on Transport Policy