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The University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, South Africa

Institutional transformations for sustainable urban mobilities: An exploration of changes in Addis Ababa and Kampala

EP-2020-MAC-03, Njogu Morgan, PhD, Post doctoral Fellow


  • Dr Gudina Terefe Tucho, Jimma University, Ethiopia
  • Marcela Guerrero Casas


While socially cohesive and environmentally low-impact modes of transport, such as walking, cycling and public transit have historically received limited government support in sub-Saharan Africa, the tide appears to be changing. Increasingly, there are visible niche experiments being conducted across the continent and steered by urban mobility policymakers. According to the extant findings in the sustainability transitions literature, such transformations are perplexing, in that they should be unlikely if not impossible in the absence of a coherent group who shares expectations, beliefs, norms and practices about an innovation (as is presumed to be the case in the global South).

The purpose of this study is to explore the nature of, rationales for, and processes in institutional transformation for sustainable urban mobilities in the global South. It does so through a case study analysis of dynamics in Addis Ababa and Kampala where policies, infrastructures and programmes for walking, cycling and public transport have recently been introduced. The study will generate new conceptual insights that will enrich the sustainability transitions’ literature. In doing so, the study will nurture and propel a new generation of early career scholars working at the intersection between urban governance and urban mobilities in sub-Saharan Africa. It will also generate policy-relevant knowledge that can help accelerate sustainable urban transport in sub-Saharan Africa.


Njogu Morgan is currently a post-doctoral researcher based at the University of the Witwatersrand. His overall research interest pertains to theoretical, conceptual and empirical aspects of sustainability transitions from a spatial comparative perspective.

His PhD research explores changes in societal acceptance of everyday bicycle use from a historical comparative perspective. This research project seeks to add to our understanding of the cultural dimensions of urban sustainability by focusing specifically on bicycle usage and attitudes to cycling in a Amsterdam, Beijing, Chicago and Johannesburg.


In november 2020, Dr. Morgan is one of the main organisers of the Inaugural Workshop about African Urban Mobility: Past, Present and Future.PDF (pdf, 309.5 kB)
At this occasion, he had an article published in New Frame: Could Covid-19 change how cities view their streets?

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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 2021-03-15.

Read more...PDF (pdf, 233.8 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 .


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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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