15 December 2022

[Technical Cooperation Angola] First mission to Luanda to establish a diagnosis of transport and urban mobility

CODATU, the French Development Agency (AFD) and the Angolan Ministry of Transport signed a technical cooperation agreement in May 2022 to assist the Ministry and Angolan cities in their urban transport and mobility policies.

This cooperation, financed by FEXTE (Fund for Technical Expertise and Exchange of Experience), will enable the organization of capacity building activities and exchange of best practices for the benefit of Angolan partners, as well as the financing of detailed studies.

Angola is a new territory of intervention for CODATU and AFD, the first activity of the cooperation is therefore to carry out a diagnosis of the transport sector in order to define the areas of work and the priority projects to support.

The first mission to Luanda took place from November 22 to 25, 2022 in the presence of Lucile Boudet, CODATU project manager, Alain Descamps, senior cooperation expert, and Manuel Gens, ad hoc expert. The local AFD agency also accompanied this mission. To establish an overview of the sector in Luanda, the delegation met with national (Ministry, National Land Transport Agency) and local (Province of Luanda, municipalities) institutional actors, private and public operators, as well as representatives of artisanal transporters, and conducted field visits to particularly problematic areas of the city. At the request of the Ministry, specific meetings were also held with the various departments of the Luanda public bus company (TCUL-Transporte Coletivo Urbano de Luanda) to carry out a specific diagnosis of this entity undergoing reorganization.

Pedestrians crossing the expressway in Luanda

The field visits allowed the delegation to see that the city of Luanda (9 million inhabitants) is organized around 3 main roads that are asphalted and overloaded by minibuses traffic (called “candongueiros”, see main photo of the article), and where many pedestrians cross without adequate infrastructure (see photo). The secondary roads located in dense neighborhoods are bumpy dirt roads where only cars and motorcycle-taxis can circulate. In addition, several new settlements have been built on the outskirts of the city and are connected by major roads but lack an adapted transport offer.

Luanda’s train represent a quality infrastructure, but it is underused because of the presence of pedestrians and street vendors on the tracks (see photo), and garbage that prevents the train from running on the second track. Therefore, the train only operates on one track, with a low commercial speed and very low frequency.

Street vendors on the Luanda train tracks

Mobility issues in Luanda are numerous and are not only related to the transport sector, but also to urban planning, waste collection, sanitation, etc. One of the first challenges is to strengthen governance and coordination of the various institutional actors to organize urban services. Then, the construction of mass transport infrastructures on the main axes will be necessary, but in the meantime, short/medium term actions can be implemented to improve the situation. At the end of the mission, CODATU delegation presented the following action tracks: implementing dedicated lanes for medium and large capacity public transport, improving the operation and maintenance of buses, coordinating services to improve train line operation, and professionalizing informal transport.

These four intense days of mission in Luanda allowed to understand the main mobility issues in Luanda and to strengthen the ties between the cooperation partners in order to pursue a productive work dynamic in 2023. The next activities will focus on the above-mentioned recommendations and will be coordinated by the new CODATU Cooperation Officer who will be based at the Ministry of Transport in Luanda from January 2023.