Capacity development in the transport sector
Title: Capacity development in the transport sector, Liberia
Commissioned by: German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ)
Lead executing agency: Ministry of Finance and Development Planning
Overall term: 2008 to 2019
As a consequence of 14 years of civil war and a lack of maintenance and construction activities, Liberia’s transport infrastructure has been severely damaged, and only less than 10 per cent of the country’s roads are paved. The majority of the road network is therefore largely impassable, particularly during the rainy season. As a result, large portions of the country are inaccessible at times, which limits economic development. An improved transportation network could therefore also contribute to poverty reduction.
The Liberian Government has begun to award road construction contracts to the private sector. A Road Maintenance Fund was introduced, the establishment of a Road Agency is planned. The planning capacities within the public sector and the services provided by Liberian construction companies remain insufficient. Above all, the country lacks of law enforcement, qualified workers and the organizational preprequisite for an efficient development of the transport sector, and, in particular, road sector are only weak. Regular road maintenance is planned, but the necessary financial resources are not always available.
Legal, institutional and HR capacities in the transport sector are improved.
GIZ provides support to its partners by
- advising on the implementation of the transport master plan and a modern road transport policy;
- supporting the Liberian Government in the creation of a Road Agency and the introduction of a Road Maintenance Fund;
- advising on the establishment and development of a road management system;
- advising on the further development of planning capacities within the ministries;
- advising on road safety and the introduction of an axle load control for trucks;
- promoting dialogue between public and private sector;
- advising local construction companies to become more competitive and how to create more jobs – especially for young people,
- developing a training course for road maintenance technicians;
- training specialists in the ministries and in the private sector.
The project partners are the Ministry of Transport, the Ministry of Public Works and the Association of Liberian Construction Contractors. The consulting firm GOPA is supporting the transport project in Liberia with the EU-financed preparation and implementation of the Road Fund and the Road Agency. Furthermore, the Gopa-Roughton consortium is supporting the introduction of the road maintenance system and traffic policy consultancy. The organizational reform of the Ministry of Transport is accompanied by the consulting company Particip.
A national transport master plan was developed with support from GIZ and adopted by the Liberian Cabinet in 2012. Within this context, GIZ has supported the government in developing a modern legal framework and implementing various reforms projects in the road sector, among other things. A law on axle load control was adopted in 2015; in 2016 the corresponding regulation followed. Regulations and manuals on traffic signs are standardized. The Road Maintenance Fund based on fuel fees was introduced in 2017. Younger people are being trained to improve their chances of employment and to improve the quality of road works.
Advisory support provided by the project has helped to build up planning capacities and enabled officials to set priorities for road maintenance. The objective is to establish data-based, transparent and sustainable processes for selecting activities. In addition, procurement processes should be more transparent and efficient and the supervision of the construction work should be improved.
Human resource development has taken place not just within the ministries, but also in small and medium-sized enterprises. Among other things, this included training on business planning, cost estimates and construction management, and technical training for local specialists and managers. These measures should also ensure that Liberia’s private sector is better qualified to participate in public tenders. In a parallel process, the project is supporting the Ministry of Public Works in introducing transparent tendering policies which favor national construction companies.
Processes from planning, tendering and contracting to maintenance works, monitoring and contract handling are to be established through pilot measures.