The effects of improved road infrastructure on social factors in developing countries

A case study of Namibia

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This research examined the effect of an improved road network on the factors economic growth, road safety, emissions, education, health, employment and tourism in developing countries. A case study is conducted on the country Namibia in Southern Africa. A System Dynamics (SD) model is developed to assess the effects of future scenarios in terms of road infrastructure on the mentioned factors. The SD model is based on a literature study on developing countries in general and a data analysis on Namibia in specific. The identified scenarios are (i) Namibia becoming the logistics hub of Southern Africa by 2022 and (ii) enhance tourism by improving road infrastructure between the major tourism attractions. Both scenarios lead to improvements in health, tourism and employment. The primary school enrolment rates remained the same over time for both scenarios. Road safety increases for both scenarios due to upgrades to bitumen, but the extent to which it increases depends on the extra measures that are taken with regards to road safety. It can be increased more by campaigns or more controls. Emissions go up in both scenarios, because emissions are a direct result of constructing and upgrading roads. The tourism scenario attracts more tourists because the roads between the major attractions are upgraded to bitumen. Both scenarios are realistic and might happen in the future. The scenarios can and might be combined.