Summarizing the findings of the desk based research, the results of the questionnaire and the interviews there is a clearer picture now on how most donor agencies currently invest in Africa’s transport sector. Taking all current Africa-related transport sector funding together anything else than infrastructure funding has no substantial portion or role in most donor portfolios.
JICA, the Chinese Development Assistance and the African Development Bank seem to have not yet started to address sustainable transport in a broader, more integrative perspective, reflecting neither the concept of accessibility, the Avoid-Shift-Improve Approach nor fostering the adoption of successful solutions in other regions, including solutions which are geared to reduce GHG from transport. It also seems that the lack of data (e.g. for road safety, cycling share or emissions) is not part of the portfolio of many donors and their partner countries.
The “Strategy 2020” of the Asian Development Bank however could become a model for other donor agencies. The “Sustainability Toolkit for Transport Projects” and the “Flagship Report” of the World Bank are also progressive attempts to assure more sustainability in transport projects. As domestic funding still will remain the driver of transport investments in Africa, it would be interesting to identify ways how these new instruments can be made applicable for domestic funding.
The diverse approaches and policy directions of the different banks could be set more in line toward sustainability by fostering a transparent inter-agency-debate on the issue of sustainable transport in Africa.
In addition all Multilateral Development Banks that signed the 175 Billion US-$ Commitment at Rio+20 should be open to work (with each other and the UN) on how to assess and measure the spending of this money.
But for this all agencies – especially those that have not started so far – must increase inhouse capacities and develop knowledge on how to solve the challenges in future transport in the African region, including motorization, accessibility questions, energy and emissions, road safety and urban, rural and regional development.
Hence donor agencies should assist their partner countries to define (new) sustainable transport sector policies which includes more than investments in (road) infrastructure.
For the overwhelming portion of funding in ODA partner countries express their needs for transport related investments to the donor community. If they will approach donor agencies like JICA, CDB or AFDB it probably will be much easier to receive financial assistance for road building than from those agencies which currently develop new funding policies and mechanisms.