Photo: Infestation

Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST) Kumasi, Ghana

Mapping unequal accessibility to socioeconomic and cultural opportunities in informal urban settlements across two Sub-Sahara African Cities

EP-2021-MAC-03, Gift Dumedah, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST) Kumasi, Ghana


Project Team – Ghana

  • Charles Adams – Dept of Civil Engineering, Regional Transport Research and Education Centre Kumasi (TRECK), KNUST, Ghana
  • Esmeranda Manful – Dept of Sociology and Social Work, KNUST, Kumasi, Ghana
  • Samuel Ato Andam-Akorful, Dept of Geomatic Engineering, KNUST, Kumasi, Ghana
  • Mr Kwame Kwakwa Osei, – Dept of Civil Engineering, Regional Transport Research and Education Centre Kumasi (TRECK), KNUST, Kumasi, Ghana

Project Team – Tanzania

  • Hanibal Bwire – Dept. of Transportation and Geotechnical Engineering (TGE), College of Engineering and Technology (CoET), University of Dar es Salaam, Tanzania
  • Joyce Nyoni – Rector, Institute of Social Work, Dar es Salaam, Tanzania
  • Zahor Khalifa Zahor – The University of Dar es salaam, Tanzania
  • Alex Lubida – Dept. of Transportation and Geotechnical Engineering, College of Engineering and Technology, University of Dar es Salaam, Tanzania
  • Ndyetabura Yahaya Hamisi – College of Information and Communication Technologies, University of Dar es Salaam, Tanzania

Project Team – USA

  • Steven Jones – Namibia University of Science and Technology, Windhoek/University of Alabama, – Tuscaloosa, Alabama, USA
  • Emmanuel Adanu – Alabama Transportation Institute/University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa, USA
  • Innocent Ndibatya, – Alabama Transportation Institute/University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa, USA



Access to socioeconomic and cultural opportunities in Sub-Sahara African (SSA) cities is often achieved through shared mobility, usually in the form of paratransit, powered two-wheelers, and motorized tricycle. While accessibility is a widespread challenge in SSA cities, the problem is more heightened in Informal Urban Settlements (IUS) and for socially differentiated groups such as care-givers, women, children, people with disabilities, and unemployed. IUS constitute a significant portion of most SSA cities, where they are often associated with lower-quality housing, low income populations, low car ownership, and poor mobility infrastructure. For 2 equitable and targeted intervention, it is critical to interrogate the perception of how residents in IUS undertake and experience mobility when accessing socioeconomic and cultural opportuni-ties. Accordingly, this proposal seeks to take advantage of accessibility in its perceived and objective forms to develop a composite accessibility measure for IUS in two SSA cities: Kumasi in Ghana, and Dar es Salaam in Tanzania. The perceived accessibility will be estimated by using the Perceived Accessibility Scale through a comprehensive qualitative survey including questionnaire, stakeholder consultation, and focus group in-terviews. The objective accessibility will capture travel distances and times, service frequency, and the phy-sical characteristics of the urban environment and existing transport modes through the Spatial Network Analysis for Multimodal Urban Transport Systems. Further, the accessibility estimation will seek to account for population demand, pedestrian response to congestion, and contextual determinants such as culture, user preferences and individuals’ awareness of service options. The population demand, capacity of mobili-ty service, geographic separation between demand and service locations, and congestion at service loca-tions will be evaluated through the Three-Step Floating Catchment and the Rational Agent Access Model. The developed composite accessibility will greatly facilitate equitable and targeted intervention towards improving access to socioeconomic and cultural opportunities for all persons in IUS in SSA cities.

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