Rural Transport in Namibia

Regions: all
Modes: road, rail
Topics: all

Children riding donkeys

“Rural Transport is a vital 'enabling' component of a developing country economy that will contribute substantially to the achievement of the high profile social and economic Millennium Development Goals.” (gTKP 2013). Transport in general, is important, when it comes to economic growth and service delivery. Access to rural areas depends on appropriate transport infrastructure such as roads, bridges, rails and paths and transport services. People from rural areas require access to health facilities, schools and other services, which tend to be of greater distance in remote areas. They also need access to economic opportunities, including markets, employment and opportunities that generate income to help families. Mobility may involve walking and carrying, which are suitable for short distances and where other means of transport are inappropriate or unavailable. Transport can also involve work animals, bicycles, carts, motorcycles, cars, trucks and various sizes of public buses.

Rural transportation in Namibia is of high importance as the majority of the country’s population lives in rural areas. The Northern regions in the Namibia are of special interest. Ohangwena, Omusati, Oshana and Oshikoto, are amongst the most populated of the 14 regions of Namibia. They are home to about 850,000 people or 40% of the Namibian population (NSA, 2012). 83% of the northern regions’ populations lived in rural areas in 2011 (NSA, 2012). Good access is a requirement for poverty reduction and rural economic and social development.

In Namibia the Ministry of Works and Transport together with other stakeholders are responsible for transport in general. The German Development Cooperation (GIZ) advises the Ministry of Works and Transport on several aspects including the “Scoping Study and Master Plan for Sustainable Transport in Ohangwena, Omusati, Oshana and Oshikoto”. The Master Plan is to be developed and finalized beginning of 2017 to ensure that the Planning and Organization are conducted in a more economically sustainable and socially balanced manner.

The project “Transport, Mobility, Logistics” is implemented by GIZ and funded by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ). Dr. Heinrich Semar is the Project Manager.


gTKP 2013, Rural transport. Vernier/Geneva, Switzerland, Global Transport Knowledge Practice (gTPK)

NSA (2012). Namibia 2011, Population and Housing Census Main Report. Windhoek: Namibia Statistics Agency (NSA).