This paper is concerned with the potential of Intermediate Means of Transport (IMTs) for improving mobility and alleviating access problems in off-road areas in Sub-Saharan Africa. Off-road rural populations appear to be disadvantaged and vulnerable in many respects. They characteristically appear markedly poorer in income terms, in health and in life chances than those in comparable roadside locations in the same region, though, obviously, not all off-road people are disadvantaged to the same degree by their location: women and children in Sub-Saharan Africa suffer much of the burden of off-road transport, for instance. In the first section I briefly review the range of difficulties commonly faced by men, women and children resident in off-road locations as a result of restricted mobility and poor access. The second section of the paper focuses on the potential of Intermediate Means of Transport for alleviating access/mobility problems in off-road areas. Constraints on IMT use among different sectors of the off-road rural poor are examined through presentation of a case study from coastal Ghana, while recent evidence from the Jos Plateau, Nigeria, is used to illustrate the enormous potential of IMTs, in favourable circumstances, for improving access and reducing isolation.
Porter, G. (2002). Improving mobility and access for the off-road rural poor through Intermediate Means of Transport. World transport policy & practice, 8(4), 6-19