The use of motorcycles has increased greatly in Africa in recent years. Motorcycles are often used as taxis, with riders charging a fare to carry passengers or goods. In rural areas, motorcycle taxis play a crucial role in connecting people to services and farms to markets, and in many countries motorcycles are the most commonly found vehicle on rural roads. Attempts by governments to regulate the use of motorcycle taxis – both to improve road safety and for other reasons – have largely failed, with authorities often unable to keep pace with the rapid influx of motorcycles into the continent. In some countries, the use of motorcycles to carry fare-paying passengers is banned, although these bans are not always enforced, especially in rural areas. Similar issues apply to motorised three-wheelers, although their numbers are far fewer.
The overall aim of the project is to improve knowledge and understanding concerning effective ways of enabling rural people to benefit from the
safe use of motorcycles and three-wheelers, with an emphasis on rural motorcycle taxis, rider training, appropriate regulatory frameworks and realistic enforcement methods. The project is focused on four African countries: Ghana, Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda.
The research objectives are to work with relevant stakeholders in each country in order to achieve the overall project aim. The essence of the research is to use country studies and the synergies of inter-country exchanges to compile and present
research evidence of best practice and appropriate regulatory frameworks for enabling the safe operation of rural motorcycles and three-wheelers to provide good, affordable and inclusive rural access for different groups of people.
The project is divided into three phases:
Phase 1: Inception
Phase 2: Research
Phase 3: Uptake and Embedment
During the Inception Phase, an understanding of the existing situation was developed in each of the four project countries, through stakeholder mapping and engagement, and through an in-depth literature review. Based on this understanding of the existing situation, the detailed activities of the Research Phase have been developed.
Two of the research activities will cover all four of the project countries. These activities are:
country-specific activities will be carried out in each of the four project countries. These activities are:
This project is being carried out with the support of the AfCAP partner institutions in each of the project countries:
In Ghana, the Ministry of Roads and Highways
In Kenya, the Materials Testing and Research Department
In Tanzania, the President's Office for Regional Administration and Local Government
In Uganda, the National Highways Authority
Beneficiaries of this project will be
rural motorcycle owners and operators, as well as rural communities in the project countries. The number of motorcycles and motorised three-wheelers in use in rural areas of the four project countries is unknown, although an estimate of over one million would not be unrealistic.The findings and recommendations are likely to also be applicable to countries beyond the four project countries, and as such, this project has the potential to benefit hundreds of millions of people across Africa.
Capacity building is also an integral part of the project, both of government officials in the project countries and of the project team.
Motorcycle transport in Bagamoyo, Tanzania - Photo: Amend/ Transaid
Inception Report, January 2018 (soon available)