Wendell Cox – Demographia, St. Louis-Missouri/Illinois Metropolitan Area –


Poverty eradication has been identified as a prerequisite to sustainability. Developing Africa’s poverty is intense and increasingly concentrated in the cities, which are capturing most population growth. Economic research indicates that improved urban access can contribute materially to higher levels of economic growth, and thus more rapid reductions in poverty.

The largest urban areas in developing Africa (herein defined as sub-Saharan Africa, excluding South Africa and Botswana) are described.

Much of the present research is unfavorable toward mass transit developing African urban areas. Yet, for all of the criticisms, people have often chosen informal transport over formal transport and that for all of the customer service difficulties, the systems are strongly patronized.

This paper would seek to synthesize the research on urban transport in these urban areas. The focus would be on the consumer preferences, needs , and indicators of consumer access. There would be emphasis on minimizing travel times, which economic research indicates is important to urban economic growth.

Urban access indicators are proposed that can be used to fashion output based policies to improve mobility. Subsidy intensive alternatives are not unlikely to be sustainable. Further, motorized urban mobility needs to be affordable so that people captive to walking can access economic and other opportunities throughout the urban area. Finally, if the ultimate focus is on improving urban access, economic growth is likely to be improved and the principal objective of poverty reduction is likely to be better served.