Capacity development in the transport sector

Project description

Title: Capacity development in the transport sector, Liberia
Commissioned by: German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ)
Country: Liberia
Lead executing agency: Ministry of Finance and Development Planning
Overall term: 2008 to 2017

Liberia. Commercial motorbike safety training in Zwedru (2010). © Aberdeen Gargli, GIZ

Context

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 one third of the country’s major streets are paved with asphalt. 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. In addition, sectoral reforms are planned, including the establishment of a Road Authority and a Road Fund to support infrastructural activities. The planning capacities within the public sector and the services provided by Liberian construction companies remain insufficient. Above all, the country lacks a modern legal framework, trained workers and the organisational structure needed to efficiently develop the transportation and road sector. Regular road maintenance is planned, but the necessary financial resources are not always available.

Objective

Legal, institutional and HR capacities in the transport sector are improved.

Approach

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 establishing a Road Authority and creating a Road Fund for maintenance activities;
  • advising on the establishment and development of a road management system;
  • advising on the further development of planning capacities within the ministries;
  • promoting dialogue between the public and private sector;
  • advising on how conditions within the Liberian construction sector can be improved in order to create more jobs – especially for young people;
  • training specialists in the ministries and 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 of the Road Fund and the Road Authority. Furthermore, the Gopa-Roughton consortium is supporting the introduction of the road maintenance system and traffic policy consultancy.

Results

A national transport master plan was developed with support from GIZ and adopted by the Liberian Cabinet in 2012. Within this context, GIZ is supporting the government in developing a modern legal framework and implementing various reform activities within the road sector, among other things. A Road Authority is being established, the Ministry of Transport is being reorganised, road user fees are being introduced, and environmental impact assessments are being conducted for road construction projects.

Advisory support provided by the project has helped to build up planning capacities and enabled officials to set priorities for road maintenance. In the past, infrastructure policies were drawn up on the basis of largely non-transparent, ad hoc decisions. The objective is to establish data-based, transparent and sustainable processes for selecting activities. Monitoring of construction has also improved: previously officials rarely visited construction sites in order to systematically monitor progress.

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 favour national construction companies.

The project has also broadened exchange between Liberian and German construction companies and associations.