The European Development Fund (EDF) contribution to a sustainable road network in sub-Saharan Africa: statement by Szabolcs FAZAKAS, Member of the European Court of Auditors
Première transmission: 15/01/2013
Brussels, Belgium - Résidence Palace
Fin de production: 15/01/2013
On 15 January, Szabolcs Fazakas, Member of the European Court of Auditors, presented report on the European Development Fund (EDF) contribution to a sustainable road network in sub-Saharan Africa which underlined that poor maintenance “threatens roads in the region”.
The report's conclusions show that aid-recipient countries visited by the Court do not do enough to ensure the sustainability of road infrastructure. In all partner countries visited by the Court, roads are affected to varying degrees by premature deterioration. Most of these countries have adopted institutional reforms, notably entailing the creation of road funds and road agencies, and made significant progress on road maintenance. However, many challenges remain to be addressed in all of them to ensure appropriate maintenance. Although spending on road maintenance has increased over time in all the partner countries visited by the Court, it remains insufficient to cover the needs.
The EU is one of the leading donors in the road sector in Sub-Saharan Africa. Road transport is a focal sector for EDF (European Development Fund) cooperation strategy with most Sub-Saharan African countries. Financially, it is by far the most important cooperation sector, with about € 7.4 billion in EDF commitments made in this region over the period from 1995 to 2011. Improper road maintenance and vehicle overloading is putting the sustainability of Sub-Saharan road network into danger.
Roads are essential for regional integration, economic growth, social development, effective public administration and security. In Sub-Saharan Africa, roads are the dominant mode of passenger and freight transport, accounting for more than 80 % of total movements of goods and services and transport needs are growing rapidly.
Only the original language version is authentic and it prevails in the event of its differing from the translated versions.
||Panel of the EU Court of Auditors
||SOUNDBITE (in English ) Szabolcs Fazakas, Member of the European Court of Auditors, saying that: But this time, the Court decided to examine how far these roads constructed funded by the European Development Funds are really uses for the purpose they are designed for, how far can they be used in an effective way. It means that maintenance is a crucial factor, and this is why we audited how far the Commission promoted the sustainability of these roads. The main conclusions of our report are that there is a lot of things to be done because maintenance is not the higher priority, neither for the Commission, nor for the partner countries and the beneficiaries countries. A lot of things have been already done, these countries are not really committed to implement measures to get the sustainability of the roads, to get the vehicles overloading which is a crucial problem reduced in these countries. That is why our recommendation is that they should focus much more on, not only to construct new roads, not only to upgrade the but to see how far the sustainability of these roads can be guaranteed.
||SOUNDBITE (in English) Szabolcs Fazakas: The Commission shouldn't only help them to plan, design and construct the roads but to set up a policy dialogue for the technical, the financial and for the institutional framework of the roads. There should be a road agency, there should a ministry for infrastructure and there should work in a proper way. It is more dangerous to give money to them; we should even teach them how to use the money.