The national governments of the three countries and their local counterparts have recognized the importance of efficient, low-cost mass transit and non-motorized transport as a means of helping to alleviate poverty, spurring economic growth in the urban centers and providing alternative and affordable transport.

In recent years, activities have started towards developing and implementing urban transport policies for creating socially-equitable and environmentally-sound urban transport systems. This project, therefore, comes at the ideal time, just as these countries are beginning to recognize a need for sustainable transport but are still in the process of identifying the most effective solutions to meet their targets. This project will work directly with the governments to provide the necessary support towards implementation of cost-effective models that result in a maximum of environmental, social and economic benefits.

Because of the congruity between the cities, this project has been crafted with similar objectives in each city. The project will facilitate information sharing and lessons-learned between the three cities. This regional component will be instrumental in ensuring the project's success and long-term impact. Experiences from Dar es Salaam, the precursor of the SUSTRAN East Africa project will also be included in this regional component since this project is several steps ahead and can provide useful lessons to the three cities just getting started.

The regional nature of this project, combined with the demonstration of environmentally-sound, socially-equitable urban mobility examples that are still relatively new to African urban regions provides great potential for replication. Once one or two cities in the region can demonstrate successes, other cities are likely to fall in step. This project therefore has the potential to change the face of urbanization, not only in the three cities in its focus, but throughout East Africa and perhaps beyond.

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