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The Impact of Transport System on Economic Development

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This study was designed to examine the Impact of Transport System on Economic Development, case study MolykoBuea. It had specific objectives to examine the effect of bad roads on businesses, to identify the effect of bad roads on employment rate in Molyko, to identify various roads in use in the molyko community. Data for this study was collected using questionnaires administered to 100 persons in MolykoBuea which indicated that they are really affected by bad roads in terms of economic development. Results were presented on tables using frequencies and percentages. According to the findings, the respondents were affected in terms poor business performance, low employment rate, low rate of opening of businesses and lack of intervention of local  government authorities in construction of roads in the community.



Transport is an economic factor of production of goods and services, implying that it is fundamental in their generation, even if it accounts for a small share of input costs. This means that irrespective of the cost, an activity cannot take place without the transportation factor and the mobility it provides. Transport represents one of the most important human activities worldwide. It is an indispensable component on the economies of countries and plays a major role in helping create valuable links between regions and economic activities, between people and the rest of the world.

 Transport is important in many ways but it’s key role in specialization is allowing production and consumption of products to occur at different locations. Better transport allows more trade and a greater spread of people. Economic growth has always been dependent on increasing the capacity and rationality of transport.

1.1Background of the study

Economic development is programs, policies or activities that seek to improve the economic well-being and quality of life for a community. What economic development means to depends on the community you live in. Economic development as a process by which an economy’s real national income increases over a long period (Meiere and Baldwin, 1957). Each community has its own opportunities, challenges and priorities. The economic development of any economy is dependent on the ability of the country to make effective and efficient use of the available resources they have. Development is not purely an economic phenomenon but rather a multidimentional process involving reorganization and reorientation of entire economic and social system (Todaro, 1977). One of the fundamental factors that facilitate the proper utilization of economic resources in the polity is the means of transportation. Transportation is the movement of people, goods and commodities from one location to another. This is done through a variety of means or ways either by road, train, air, pipeline. However, every means of transportation has it’s own challenges infrastructural-wise. Transportation is a wealth-creating industry on its own and inadequate transportation thus, limits a nation’s ability to utilize its natural resources, distributes foods and other finished goods; integrate the manufacturing and agriculture sectors and supply education, medical and other infrastructural facilities. There is the need therefore to maintain and improve the existing transportation and to build new infrastructures for national wealth. The national wealth is the growth of domestic product (GDP) which is an indicator or measure of the rate of economic growth. Transportation infrastructure is critical to sustaining economic growth because people want to improve their standard of living and they see increased income as the way to achieve that goal, transportation system enhancement are in turn a means of maintaining or improving economic opportunities, quality of life, and ultimately income for people in a particular region. (Lucas 1998).

Transportation also has a broader role in shaping development and the environment. Policy concerns in the next millennium will increasingly focus on the effect of transportation on where people live and on where people’s businesses are located and on the effect that these location decisions have on land use patterns, congestion of urban transportation systems, use of natural resources, air and water quality have already pushed their way to the forefront of policy debates at both the national and local levels. To make prudent decisions, policymakers must be equipped with the best information and the analysis possible about the interactions among these various factors. Transportation becomes the backbone of any economy, especially in countries like Cameroon, as such anatomy of aspects relating to inefficiencies and lack of good transportation network in Cameroon coupled with a low rate of economic growth (GDP) is crucial, attached to this is the poor government policy on transportation lack of regulation of fees charged by private transporters).

Road transport one of the most common means of transportation that people use regularly. One of the things that make road transportation very easy and smooth is the availability of good roads. Road infrastructure is considered to be a key requirement for the social and economic development of any country. This is particularly true in Cameroon where road transport is the most widely used mode of travel. Since the importance of the road network transcends national boundaries, the expansion and upgrade of the road network are vital to increasing economic performance. Hence, bad road investments in countries depending on them in terms of their economic performance and competitiveness enhancement.

Past investigators from researches have demonstrated that road transportation is a significant financial development facilitator and furthermore as the foundation of monetary improvement exercises for nations. In a wide assortment of writing, specialists have upheld the connection between good roads and financial turn of events. All the more explicitly, road infrastructure speculations establish significant political, monetary, and social cycles that expand the wealth and influence of a nation, amplify markets and lower exchange hinderances. This prompts increments in efficiency yields and upgrades in versatility and way of life for general population. The adequacy of road transport infrastructure determines a country’s success and another, failure in diversifying production, expanding trade, coping with population growth reducing poverty or improving environmental conditions. A good transport infrastructure raises productivity especially in the agricultural sector of the economy and lowers production costs.

In Cameroon, the link between where the major production activities take place and where it is needed for final consumption needs good road transportation that will bridge the gap, although the precise linkage between infrastructures and development are still open to debate. However, according to the World Development Report, 1994, infrastructure capacity grows step by step with economic growth. Good road infrastructure services help the poor contribute to environmental sustainability. Clean water and sanitation, safe disposal of solid waste and better management of traffic in urban areas provide environmental benefits for all income groups.

Integrated urban planning and transport policy can lead to more efficient use of both land and transport capacity with favorable environmental results. Expansion of transport infrastructure can reduce total pollution loads as congestion falls, on average. Vehicle speed rise and routes are shortened. Road improvements can also encourage vehicle use and decrease emissions.

Therefore, additions to infrastructural capacity are only part of the solution. Improved management of traffic and land use and promotion of non-motorize modes, cleaner fuels and public transport is important. Transportation is indispensable to economic growth and the development of the human settlement. (Pisarski,2013).


1.2Statement of the Problem

A good transport system can broaden the market for goods. It can also make the movements of raw material, fuel, equipment to the places of production easy. Further, it opens up remote regions as well as resources for production. An important role in a region’s economic growth is the presence of a reliable and efficient transportation system, this is mainly due to the fact that a well-developed transportation system provides adequate access to the region which in turn is a necessary condition for the efficient operation of manufacturing, retail, labor and housing markets. Bad roads on the other hand hinders investments that create employment to improve the living standards of people in a particular location, this affects the rates of income people make and in turn degenerates the revenue of the government. Road infrastructure has been seen as a major cause of urbanization. The bad roads has also been an impending factor that limits the stress-free journey of people. Generation of revenue for the government from travelers and traders. Many businesses that are located in places that have bad roads are been left isolated due to their unreachability by the consumers. Drivers and passengers face difficulties on the road while conveying goods and services to and fro their destinations.

Population growth of people in a particular area is determined by the rate at which they have eased to movement. Individuals face challenges with their work if they don’t have an access road to their places of work. People tend to give up their jobs in an organization if they have difficulty going to work on a daily basis. When such is done, the income generated as a result of the job they quit will reduce. Investors find it difficult to establish companies in areas that are not motorable and easily accessible to people as a result of bad roads.

Road infrastructure has been seen as a major cause of urbanization. When a particular place or area is not accessible to people the development of that area’s infrastructure will be impeded. Reduction in the level of consumption to services rendered in those areas.

People migrate from rural to urban areas either for employment opportunities, urbanization, better infrastructure, all to better than living conditions. When these factors are not achieved as a result of lack of lack of access to good roads, they affect the rate of income and taxes that the government generates hence affecting economic growth and development.

In Cameroon, Molyko for example, lack of good roads in these areas have affected agricultural development and food distribution. According to Fakayode (2004), agricultural products are mostly traded in small markets around the vicinity of farmer’s farm and this reduces the selling price of farm products compared to the price traded for them in bigger markets due to the price traded for them in bigger markets due to the lack of good motorable roads. This study hence seeks to examine the effect of bad roads on the economic development of Molyko in Buea.

  • Research Questions

The study is guided by the following research questions:

Main research question

What are the impacts of bad roads on the economic development in MolykoBuea?

Specific research question

1) What is the effect of bad roads on businesses in Molyko?

2) What is the effect of bad roads on the rate of employment?

3) What are the different roads being used in Molyko?



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