Photo: UITP

Webinar: Enhancing Financial Sustainability and Commercial Viability of BRTs in Sub-Saharan Africa-Factor Analysis and Assessment Tool - on Wednesday, December 15, 4-6 PM CET

The webinar is organised by our partner Advancing public transport, UITP. Registration is free.

Rapid urbanisation and urban population growth in SSA have led to the development and expansion of cities which have generated increasing pressure on their transport systems. Some major cities in SSA have implemented, or are in the process of implementing, Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) systems to address some of their mobility challenges at the lowest possible cost.

Total length of BRT corridors under development in six SSA cities is 343km (including 141 km under operation in four cities) representing a total capital investment estimated at US$ 1.8 billion. Two of these cities (i.e. Accra, Ghana and Lagos, Nigeria) have operational Quality Bus Service and BRT-Lite system.

BRT implementation in SAA cities has shown mixed results. Financial sustainability and commercial viability challenges have often materialized. They translate BRTs’ high upfront infrastructure investment costs and operational subsidies requirements to maintain services quality.

In this context, private sector solutions have been explored to address known public financial gap. To date, mobilization of private sector capital has been slow and difficult, however. This is due to cross cutting challenges encompassing political economy, regulatory, institutional, technical, social and financial characteristics of these projects. It is critical for SSA governments to have in-depth understanding and comprehensive assessment of those challenges if they are to develop contextualized and effective solutions to them.


  • Yssoufou CISSE, Manager - Regional Office Global Growth, UITP
  • Ayman Smadi, Director - UITP MENA Regional Office Global Growth

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VREF invites applications for research grants to support
projects to be implemented 2022 under the programme for “Mobility & Access in African Cities”.

Deadline: 15 September 2021

MOBILITY GRANT 2021- MAC-MG 2021PDF (pdf, 443.4 kB)

The VREF invites PhD students and advanced master students from Sub-Saharan African (SSA) universities to apply for a Mobility Grant (MG) to support a visit to another SSA university with up to SEK 25 000.


The VREF invites PhD students and researchers in early stages of their career to apply for a Study Visit Grant to be supported with up to SEK 30 000.

CALL FOR NOMINATION FOR the Håkan Frisinger Award for Excellence in Transportation Research

The VREF invites universities located in Sweden to nominate candidates for The Håkan Frisinger Award (Håkan Frisingers pris till framstående transportforskare) and apply for a VREF Visiting Researcher Grant for the nominated candidate.

Closed on 2021-03-03.

Read more...PDF (pdf, 233.6 kB)

Lee Schipper Memorial Scholarships for Sustainable Transport and Energy Efficiency targets supporting the momentum of Lee Schipper’s contribution to the international policy dialogue in these fields.

This yearly award is aimed at supporting young individual researchers and students in is pursuance.

Call deadline: March 1, 2021 .


Blog! Blog! Blog!

Global Mobility Research

This Meeting of the Minds' blog monthly releases interviews of global transportation researchers from the VREF's Future Urban Transport Program Network.


This CityFix series, produced by the WRI (World Ressources Institute) Ross Center for Sustainable Cities and supported by the VREF, discusses walking and cycling in cities with a special focus on low- and middle-income countries.

About VREF

The Volvo Research and Educational Foundations (VREF) inspires, initiates and supports research and educational activities through the Future Urban Transport Programme - How to deal with the complexity of urban transport (FUT). 

Our Vision: Sustainable transport for equitable access in urban areas


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