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Africa must build a more robust public transport system – Ofori Asiamah

Written by on June 18, 2024

The Minister of Transport, Kwaku Ofori Asiamah, has called for African countries to collaborate in developing a stronger public transport system to improve efficiency and alleviate the burdens faced by commuters due to inadequate infrastructure.

He highlighted the pressing issue of insufficient public transportation systems across Africa, emphasizing the need for legislative measures to regulate and prevent transport operators from exploiting commuters with excessively high fares.

“We must enact legislation, regulations, and laws to protect commuters from exploitation by transport operators. Fair compensation for operators is essential, but without proper regulation, there is a risk of overcharging our citizens,” he emphasized.

Asiamah made these remarks during a press interaction following his receipt of the ‘Most Outstanding Innovation in Infrastructure Development’ Award at the 2024 African Public Service Optimum (APSO) Conference & Awards night in Accra on June 5.

The event, themed “Transforming Africa through Public Service Professionalism and Excellence,” aimed to honor exceptional public institutions and servants who have exhibited excellence in providing public goods and services.

The event also aimed to promote cooperation and collaboration among award-winning institutions and public officials from across Africa.

In attendance were ambassadors, ministers, traditional rulers, and diplomats representing various countries on the continent.

Asiamah further underscored the risk of unregulated transport operators exploiting passengers, which can lead to manipulative practices that inflate prices of essential goods and services. He highlighted the example of the Matatus (minibus) industry in East Africa, where concerns about safety and affordability are prominent.

The minister emphasized the importance for African governments to find a balance between allowing transport operators to earn a fair income and safeguarding commuters from exploitation.

He suggested that through the implementation of appropriate laws and the strengthening of institutional frameworks, Africa can develop a more resilient public transport system. Asiamah acknowledged the reality that not everyone can afford private vehicles, making robust public transport systems crucial for inclusive mobility.

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