WAEMU countries show concern for road maintenance issue

The West African Development Bank (BOAD) organized from 7-8 October 2015 a workshop to validate a study on “Road maintenance in the WAEMU countries: an overview of the last 50 years and the way forward”. The opening ceremony was co-chaired by His Excellency Ninsao Gnofam, Minister of Infrastructure and Transports of Togo, and Mr. Christian Adovelande, President of BOAD, in the presence of officials from WAEMU member countries and technical and financial partners.

“Road maintenance in our countries continues to be a major concern for BOAD because of the huge amount of resources mobilized for the construction of road facilities and, given their early deterioration due to inadequate maintenance”, said Mr. Christian Adovelande. In fact, the situation of road facilities in these countries is strongly marked by a rapid deterioration and inadequate government funds earmarked for their maintenance, leading to a subsequent significant increase in maintenance requirements. In most cases, such requirements are not adequately covered to maintain the entire road network in good condition.

As requested by member countries, the study on road maintenance was conducted and culminated into recommendations made by the consultant appointed for that purpose, and reviewed by the workshop. Following the workshop, many recommendations were made:

  • as regards WAEMU member countries: increased empowerment of road maintenance funds; organization of a donors’ roundtable on addressing additional financial requirements by partnering with economic operators whose activities affect the road network; strict enforcement of the WAEMU Regulation 14 as provided under the action plan adopted on 19 June 2015 in Ouagadougou.
  • as regards the WAEMU Commission: modernization of tollbooths/weighing stations, with the possibility of using simple and efficient electronic payment equipment. The GIM-UEMOA system could serve as a model; launching of a study on the inception of a regional fund for road maintenance.
  • as to technical and financial partners: sensitization of member countries to the establishment of second generation road funds; support to member countries in enforcing the WAEMU Regulation 14 as provided under the action plan adopted on 19 June 2015 in Ouagadougou.

As at 30 June 2015, the financial support provided by BOAD in the area of transport facilities in the WAEMU region stood at XOF1,284.25 billion, or 37.71% of its total outstanding loans amounting to XOF3,405.2 billion. These loans made it possible to finance about forty projects totaling a stretch of 4,475 kilometers of roads. They mainly involved asphalting or rehabilitation of trunk and inter-country roads to reduce internal and external isolation of member countries.