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Rural connectivity in Africa: motorcycle track construction / Jack Thomas Jenkins, Krijn Peters

Proceedings of the Institution of Civil Engineers - Transport, Volume: 169, Issue: 6, Pages: 378 - 386

Swansea University Author: Krijn Peters

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DOI (Published version): 10.1680/jtran.15.00080

Abstract

Motorcycle transportation has burgeoned in war-affected West Africa over the past decade. The penetration ofmotorcycle taxis deep into isolated rural communities has spread spontaneously and created direct and indirectemployment opportunities for low-skilled youth, a category most susceptible to mil...

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Published in: Proceedings of the Institution of Civil Engineers - Transport
ISSN: 0965-092X 1751-7710
Published: Thomas Telford Ltd. 2016
Online Access: Check full text

URI: https://cronfa.swan.ac.uk/Record/cronfa51806
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Abstract: Motorcycle transportation has burgeoned in war-affected West Africa over the past decade. The penetration ofmotorcycle taxis deep into isolated rural communities has spread spontaneously and created direct and indirectemployment opportunities for low-skilled youth, a category most susceptible to militia recruitment. Equallyimportant, it has significantly contributed to lifting smallholder farmers out of poverty by reducing the costs ofmoving produce to markets, with motorcycles able to visit villages connected to feeder roads solely by footpaths.Nevertheless, state actors and international donors remain reluctant to allocate funds to rural track building/upgrading, preferring to stick to more conventional, but expensive, construction/rehabilitation of rural roadsaccessible to four-wheeled vehicles. Through a case study of Liberia – still recovering from two civil wars and an Ebolahealth crisis – this paper argues that the impact of bringing community access through track construction/footpathupgrading is significant, particularly because track construction lends itself par excellence to the involvement of therural communities themselves.
Keywords: developing countries, infrastructure planning, social impact
Issue: 6
Start Page: 378
End Page: 386