Mogadishu, capital of Somalia, had a population of 2,500,000 residents.
Buses are the most commonly used mode of public transportation in Mogadishu. However, many urban services in are organized informally specially public transportation. Sub-standard roads, the pollution and dust of cars, overloaded vehicles, overcharged and car-jacking are common in the country. Rapid urbanization and the increased need for mobility have put tremendous pressure on the already poor transport infrastructure in the country.
Drivers protest for high tax
19 Sept 2019 Dalsan Radio (Mogadishu)
Traffic in Mogadishu has come to a standstill following the early morning strike by public transport drivers protesting the exorbitant taxes by the Federal Government.
They said that $100,000 Somalia shillings imposed on them and the frequent road closures had affected their businesses.
In the recent past the government has tried to net as many taxpayers as possible to plug the budgetary deficit in the face of the dwindling donor-funding and aid.
Bank signed $28.8 grant deal with roads
29 Aug 2019 African Development Bank
The African Development Bank Group on 27 August 2019 signed two grants for USD$28.8 million for road and water supply projects to improve livelihoods in Somalia and boost resilience.
The road project, which will rehabilitate 355 km of regional road networks, will also provide assistance to improve the capacities of public agencies. It is expected to boost productivity, improve living standards, increase inter-regional trade, cut the cost of doing business and create jobs, especially during implementation.
Sustainable urbanization is key to transform Somalia
As the world continues to urbanize, sustainable development depends increasingly on the successful management of urban growth, especially in low-income countries where the pace of urbanization is projected to be the fastest. Although Somalia has a GDP per capita (PPP) at USD 547 at 2018, it is highly necessary to have a sustainable public service development.
Transportation enhances human mobility by way of private and public passenger transport as well as transport infrastructure making it more easily for people to communicate with each other.
Automatic fare collection (AFC) may help
From the lesson from different countries, the improper financial management of public transportation can be improved by introducing an automatic fare collection (AFC) system. It should decrease the pressure on public transportation development in Somalia as the transportation owner should have more budget to pursue safety, comfortably and maintenance on the buses. Passenger carry no money but with the card that can easily to get around.
With all these road construction, polluted environment, it is hard to finance an expensive AFC system.
Instead of granted, why not apply a sustainable low costed AFC which can bring a good cash flow as from other countries’ experiences.
The writer is a frequency traveler. For more detail, please visit mobileafc.net.