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Cross-Cutting Issues

Major challenges of the transport sector are closely related with poverty and other major social and environmental problems in Sub-Saharan Africa. SSATP recognizes importance of such cross-cutting issues and gives them special emphasis in the policy-making process.

In its cross-cutting approach, the SSATP focuses on Gender Equity, Employment Generation, Road Safety, HIV/AIDS and Environment. These factors are the key elements in fighting poverty and providing sustainable development in Sub-Saharan Africa.

Related Resources 
Mainstreaming Gender in Transport: A Resource Guide

Poverty in Sub-Saharan Africa is to the great extent a Gender Equity issue. Successive studies have shown that over 70 percent of the region's poor live in rural areas, the majority of whom are women and girls. Gender balance in transport helps increase women's productivity, broaden their access to health, education services, information thus helping to promote social cohesion and helping transport contribution to poverty alleviation. This is the key message that shapes SSATP's future work on gender mainstreaming under its Long Term Development Plan (LTDP).

One of the key factors of pervasive poverty in Sub-Saharan Africa is the high unemployment rate in most African countries and the relatively low wage earned by most workers. Employment generation and the assurance of a fair wage are therefore areas that should be of concern to every development initiative, whether such an initiative has a main focus on policy development or on the delivery of infrastructure and services.

The trend of road traffic injuries shows an overall increase around the world. Even though Africa does not have the highest absolute numbers in traffic injuries, traffic-related mortality rate per capita in Sub-Saharan Africa is the highest in the world at 28.3 deaths per 100,000 of population. Almost 1% of population gets injured in traffic-related accidents in Africa every year. The issue of Road Safety is complex and involves several components such as policies, funding, recognized multi-sector ownership, legislation, medical treatment, enforcement, design, vehicles, education, etc. The main challenge is to get all these components to work together.

Findings of international studies of the HIV/AIDS pandemic at work places suggest that, the transport sector is a major vector for the disease. The reason is simple. People working in the transport sector are mobile, they spend weeks and months away from their families and their homes and many satisfy their sexual needs “on the road.” Migration, short-term or long-term, increases opportunities for sexual relationships with multiple partners, transforming transport routes to critical links in the propagation of HIV/AIDS. Recognizing the negative impacts the pandemic is having on Africa's development efforts, SSATP has engaged its partners' to roll back the spread of the HIV/AIDS pandemic on the African continent, in policy discussions as well as in operations.

Infrastructure projects such as roads, railways and airports, always induce Environmental Impacts, physical and social. However, transport also helps provide environmental benefits by providing access and mobility that links people to resources. Difficult trade-offs are recurrently made between national development interests such as road infrastructure projects and local environmental concerns. The emerging rift between development and environment in Africa is that, contrary to industrialized countries were wealth is at the root of environmental destruction, poverty in Africa is the main factor that threatens environment and the sources of livelihood.

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