Improving mobility and education
Title: Capacity development in the transport sector in Liberia
Commissioned by: German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), the European Union
Lead executing agency: Ministry of Finance and Development Planning
Overall term: 2008 to 2024
Liberia’s road network is in an inadequate condition and does not extend to all regions of the country. It is estimated that over half of the population does not have direct access to the public road network. Large areas are mostly or completely inaccessible during the rainy season from the beginning of May to the end of October, which slows down economic development.
The poor road network exacerbates poverty, especially in rural areas, and has a negative impact on food security, educational opportunities and medical care. This makes it difficult to ensure core human rights, such as the right to education, an adequate standard of living, and physical health.
A National Road Fund has therefore been launched with support from the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH. Its resources, generated through a fuel levy, are used to rehabilitate roads. However, the planning skills within public administration and the services provided by the Liberian construction companies are not yet sufficient. Only some road construction contracts are awarded to local construction companies in organised tendering procedures, rules are not enforced sufficiently and there is a lack of qualified workers.
Road construction creates additional jobs and improves the road infrastructure.
Since 2020, the project has been establishing a vocational training centre for the construction sector. The European Union is contributing to the financing of the centre together with the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ).
Local construction companies and their professional associations are receiving advice on how to become more competitive in public tendering procedures. The project is also helping to create more jobs, especially for young people, and to establish a performance-based vocational training system.
The project provides assistance with road maintenance measures and is helping to establish the National Road Fund. Building authorities and building contractors receive practical support in managing construction contracts. In addition, the project is supporting the Ministry of Public Works in setting up a bridge maintenance system and advising on road safety measures.
Together with local cooperatives, the project is developing footpaths into two-wheeler tracks to connect villages to the road network. It has also implemented a pilot project with the Kreditanstalt für Wiederaufbau (KfW) and Welthungerhilfe: a gravel road was treated with a special soil stabilising agent to adapt it to the increasingly frequent rainfall due to climate change. Over the next few years, the road’s stability will be checked in regular tests in order to establish a cost-effective road construction method for rural areas based on the findings.
The project is also providing advice on introducing axle load control for heavy goods vehicles, which is being implemented by GIZ International Services.
The implementation partners are the Ministry of Public Works, the Ministry of Transport, the National Police, the Booker Washington Institute vocational school, the Association of Liberian Construction Contractors, and Engineering Society of Liberia and Liberia Institute of Architects. Integration Consulting is helping to train road maintenance technicians.
- The project assisted with the adoption of the National Transport Master Plan (2012) and the Axle Load Control Law (2015), and the establishment of the National Road Fund.
- It has developed a demand-based training programme for road builders that is recognised by the Ministry of Education. Ten trainers have been trained and 45 younger people are currently completing a training course to become road construction technicians.
- Pilot measures have so far created 325 working years of sustainable employment in road construction (as defined by the International Labour Organization).
- Thanks to capacity development measures, the Association of Construction Contractors can represent the interests of its members more effectively.
- The advisory services provided under the project have helped to improve planning skills and prioritisation in road maintenance.
- Small and medium-sized enterprises were assisted with training in business planning, calculating offers and managing construction sites to ensure that the Liberian private sector has better training on public procurement procedures.
- Working together with the Ministry of Transport, the project has drawn up reform documents and implemented measures that increase public awareness of road safety issues.
- Work with the National Police has also raised awareness of the consequences of failing to follow traffic rules.
Last update: April 2021