Living in a Walking World: Rural Mobility and Social Equity Issues in Sub-Saharan Africa


Porter, Gina. 2002. “Living in a Walking World: Rural Mobility and Social Equity Issues in Sub-Saharan Africa.” World Development 30 (2): 285-300. 

Author: Gina Porter


Accessibility and mobility are embedded in the development nexus in far-reaching ways. Field studies of mobility among women and men in rural settlements with poor road access illustrate the frustrations and costs of living off-road. They are frequently marginalized and invisible, even to local administrations. State decentralization appears to have had little positive impact in reducing ‘‘tarmac bias’’ and improving rural service delivery. A range of potential interventions, from Intermediate Means of Transport to electronic communications is reviewed, and opportunities for building social capital in off-road areas through nurturing improvements in state–civil society relations are considered.

Keywords: accessibility, mobility, off-road, decentralization, Africa, services

Topics: Civil Society, Development, Economies, Economic Inequality, Gender, Women, Men, Infrastructure, Transportation Regions: Africa

Year: 2002

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