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A View of Commercial Motorcycle Transportation in Sub-Saharan African Cities Through the Sustainable Development Lens

Abstract

The mobility challenges in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) have given rise to commercial motorcycle transportation. Nonetheless, its regularisation remains a fierce contest between two categories of stakeholders: critics and protagonists. While the critics base their arguments on the safety and crime concerns associated with it, the protagonists argue based on its support for livelihoods. However, none of these arguments are grounded in the region’s quest for sustainable development. Using the sustainable development prism as an analytical framework, this study unpacks the effects of commercial motorcycle transportation on the region’s sustainable development efforts for evidence-based decision-making. The results of the study are based on a systematic review of literature from reputable academic databases. A synthesis of the literature reveals that commercial motorcycle transportation profoundly impacts SSA’s economic and social sustainability efforts. The roles include livelihood support, revenue to governments and mobility enhancement. Nevertheless, it is associated with health and safety, security and pollution concerns. Based on these and the entrenched mobility difficulties in SSA, the authors conclude that abolishing commercial motorcycle transportation may amount to ‘throwing away the baby with the bathwater’. Instead, the principle of hazard analysis and critical control point could be a valuable concept to developing risk management strategy for commercial motorcycle transportation.

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Fig. 1

Source: Authors’ construct, 2021

Fig. 2

Source: Author’s construct, 2021

Fig. 3

Source: Authors’ construct, 2021

Availability of Data and Material (data transparency)

The data used for the study are available upon request.

Code Availability (software application or custom code)

Not applicable.

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Each author made substantial contribution to the manuscript to merit inclusion in the authorship list. Mr. MJ assisted in the search from literature and their content analysis. He also helped to draft the manuscript. Dr. OA took part in the conceptualisation of the topic, assisted in the search for literature, supported the team to write the original draft and reviewed the draft prior to submission to the journal. Dr HM assisted in the search for literature, supported the team to write the original draft and reviewed the draft prior to submission to the journal. Dr. SAT assisted in the search for literature, supported the team to write the original draft and reviewed the draft prior to submission to the journal. Prof IB, Dr. HM assisted in the search for literature, supported the team to write the original draft and reviewed the draft prior to submission to the journal.

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Correspondence to Owusu Amponsah.

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Marija, J., Amponsah, O., Mensah, H. et al. A View of Commercial Motorcycle Transportation in Sub-Saharan African Cities Through the Sustainable Development Lens. Transp. in Dev. Econ. 8, 13 (2022). https://doi.org/10.1007/s40890-022-00149-4

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  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s40890-022-00149-4

Keywords

  • Sustainable cities
  • Commercial motorcycle transport
  • Sub-Sahara Africa
  • Mobility
  • Risk management strategies