In an African perspective, there are various factors which make traffic flow management challenging in almost all cities in Sub-Saharan Africa.The most dominant factors are the ongoing urbanization which is taking place in both medium-sized and larger cities, the rapid motorisation of some parts of the urban society and the poor transport infrastructure and services.
The migration levels from villages and towns to cities, usually for employment purposes, is increasing rapidly and therefore Sub-Saharan African cities faces a tremendous population growth. This has resulted in rapidly expanding cities with a low population density, causing long travel distances and fierce competition for limited space, particularly road space.
Despite the fact that the majority of Sub-Saharan Africans are low income earners and depending on walking, cycling and low cost transport, expanding cities and high population size have led to the increase in demand for transport services. The privatized public transport sector, however, can't cope with the increasing number of passengers and it is competing with increasing numbers of private vehicles – both cars and motorcycles which has already led to permanent traffic congestion in some cities.
Lack of infrastructure (beside road space also traffic lights, speeding controls and other ITS), poor enforcement of traffic laws and the absence of an efficient management of parking are all contributing to the traffic congestion problem in Sub-Saharan African cities. This is accentuated by a lack of institutional knowledge and capacities on traffic management, a culture of disregard for and poor enforcement of weak regulations as well as poor road maintenance - often resulting in the ubiquitous pot holed roads.