Transport for People

The four Northern regions Ohangwena, Omusati, Oshana and Oshikoto are amongst the most populated of the fourteen regions of Namibia. This area has vast economic and social development potential and opportunities that would be further advanced through improvement in transport accessibility, connectivity and mobility - the purpose of this project.

Why do the northern regions need a Master Plan?

Different measures of transport improvements

Connectivity is a measure, which is usually applied to longer journeys to access selected, significant destinations; the focus is here on access to particular strategic destinations including regional centres, ports and airports, rail stations, bus stations and major road junctions.

Accessibility provides a local-level measure of the availability of transport to key services such as (food) stores, education and health care centres or employment centres.

Mobility is a measure of the time and costs required for travel. Mobility is higher when average travel times, variations in travel times, and travel costs are low.

Transport infrastructure improvements will play a key role to improve the connectivity of the four regions in relation to its major local and regional markets and the port in Walvis Bay. The improvement of access to transport will also be essential to better integrate the population in the regional economic and social activities. This will enable the regions to participate and contribute to the national objectives e.g. Vision 2030 and to the National Development Plans.

However, transport improvements are not only related to infrastructure, but there are many more dimensions that need to be addressed to make transport systems more sustainable. Most citizens in the North rely on public transport and an affordable public transport system will allow the urban and rural population to participate more easily in economic activities. Affordable mobility will give them more direct and effortless access to their working places and to services such as health or education facilities. This will increase their economic opportunities and quality of life.

During initial consultations and workshops with stakeholders at both the national and regional levels, additional key areas were identified that should be addressed by the project: These include:

  • an integrated approach to improve road safety in the region
  • initiatives to serve the region’s non-motorised transport needs including pedestrians in urban and rural areas
  • better consideration of the disabled in infrastructure design and in the provision of transport services
  • better supervision and enforcement of regulatory frameworks for the transport sector, in particular the rules and regulations for provision of public transport services

Therefore, the Ministry of Works and Transport, assisted by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development through its implementing agency Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH, has decided to launch this project.

T4P target groups and expected impacts

It is expected that the T4P project will contribute to gradually developing an inclusive, cost-effective and sustainable transport system for the People in the four Northern regions. The target groups of the T4P project are the people, who use and depend on the transport system. Positive impacts of the improved transport system will in particular benefit the people who cannot afford private transport and are dependent on taxi services, public transport and walking. These groups will be ‘winners’ who are likely to realise positive impacts of the improvements from the short-term onwards.

In particular they will have better access to jobs and markets and the amount of time they spend on travelling will be reduced. This will enable them to have more opportunities for work and recreation, time spent with their families and so on. In the longer term as the regions grow and the master plan achieves its desired outcomes, including institutional changes and a public transport-based transport system, the whole society will benefit from the heightened sustainability of the transport system. This will include reduced travelling times and transport costs for passengers and freight, savings in energy consumption, output of greenhouse gases, etc.

There will also be other impacts as the master plan is implemented over time. For instance, government will improve its skills and capacities to enable it to deal with more complex funding requirements, more detailed transport planning processes and more sophisticated operation and administration of the transport system.