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Thursday, April 18, 2024

10 Countries in Africa with Most Dangerous Roads

Some roads in several African countries are extremely dangerous due to poor designs, which lead to fatalities on the road. 

These African roads create hazardous driving conditions because of improper grading, blind curves, sharp turns, and drop-off.

The links between unsafe conditions on the road also make it scary and dangerous for private car owners, commercial drivers, and travelers using the rural and urban access roads.

In this article post, we’ll look at Africa countries with the most dangerous roads, considering factors such as railroad infrastructure ranking and road quality.

1. Mauritania 

A sovereign state in the northwestern part of Africa, and the 11th largest country on the continent, Mauritania, has the most dangerous roads in Africa, with a road quality score of 2.

The height of the paved motorway, which runs down the coastal route connecting Nouadhibou and Nouakchott, the capital city of Mauritania, measures 1,476,377.95 feet by 2010.

Mauritania has desert and semi-desert climatic conditions, which makes road repairs and maintenance extremely difficult.

What makes Mauritania roads bad?

The factors that contribute to worsening the roads in Mauritania include:

  • Poor construction.
  • Wrong road shapes in the country’s interior parts.
  • Poor local driving standards.
  • Lack of vehicle maintenance.

Another significant threat to drivers in the country is the unexploded landmines, which make most of the borders unsafe, especially the Western Sahara border and its surrounding areas.

There are 3,190 miles of unimproved roads in Mauritania, with un-surfaced roads totaling 440 miles and about 1,900 miles of surfaced roads.

Land travel and driving in Mauritania

The land is the primary means of transport in the country with private buses, including minibus pioneering commercial vehicles across the major cities.

The estimate makes land travel and driving in the country, especially the cities, extremely dangerous.

According to the current report on the country’s safety report, even a tiny amount of rainfall makes it impossible to travel along for small cars to travel across the paved roads in Mauritania.

Government action

The government of Mauritanian is taking measures to mitigate road danger in the country, focusing mainly on road maintenance and urban mobility in Nouakchott and other cities.

2. DR Congo

The Democratic Republic of the Congo in central Africa, in other words, the DRC, Congo-Kinshasa, the DROC, DR Congo, or Congo, is the following African country with the most dangerous roads, scoring 2.1 in road quality rating.

Formerly called Zaire, DRC’s basin has an unpleasant terrain and climatic condition that contributes to their deadly road, presenting barriers in rail and road construction across the country.

Causes and contributions to bad roads in DR Congo

The significant contributions to the destruction of most roads in the country are the first Congo war 1996 – 1997 and the second war from 1998 – 2003.

Similarly, national funds mismanagement, poor functioning of public waterway agencies, lack of infrastructural development, climatic condition, and lousy terrain make the country’s construction and proper maintenance of roads challenging.

Why DR Congo’s roads are dangerous

DRC has the total paved highways measuring 7,381,889.76 feet, but out of the whole, only 4,022,309.71 feet are of satisfactory quality though not in the best condition.

Means of transportation

Although road transport exists in DRC, it is pretty tricky. The primary transportation means in DR Congo is water, while the most reliable and safest means is by air, turning most of the good roads outside the cities into airstrips.

You can easily access two-thirds of the Democratic Republic of Congo through water transport and most cities through neighboring countries, rather than Kinshasa, the city capital.

There is no commercial or private transport in towns like Lubumbashi, Kinshasa, and Matadi, and even the available ones are limited.  

Road improvement in DR Congo

Together with the World Bank Group, the country’s government is taking a gradual road improvement approach to rehabilitating major highways in DRC.  

3. Madagascar

Madagascar, East Africa, previously called the Malagasy Republic, is the 2nd largest island worldwide with a road score quality of 2.2, rating it 3rd among the regions on the continent with dangerous roads.

Madagascar’s most dangerous and worst road is the Route Nationale 5 (National Road 5), an unpaved, wild road with dilapidated bridges running south along Toamasina and Mananara Nord.

Causes of bad roads in Madagascar

Most of the dangerous roads in Madagascar lack concrete paving and asphalt, making the road impassable in various spots, especially during the rainy season.

What makes Madagascar roads dangerous?

Access roads across Madagascar’s major cities comprise worn-down bridges, sections of sand, and solid rock that causes drivers to spend 24hours to cover a journey of 200km.

While traveling across the country, you’ll have to cross so much different terrain, from smooth asphalt to red earth and deep sandy tracks.

Means of transportation

The primary means of public transport in Madagascar is the road, through bush taxis and taxi-bes, but the roads are terrible so that they can take days for a short trip.

The train is available across the major cities, but they’re unreliable, therefore the fastest and most reliable means of transport in the country is air, but it’s pretty expensive.

Road infrastructural rehabilitation in Madagascar

The country’s government is currently working to improve transport connectivity and access to many cities by constructing an all-weather road linking the major areas.

Also, the government plans to rehabilitate 148 km of secondary roads, including the 113 km section of the RNS 44, for safety.

4. Guinea

Another African country with dangerous roads is Guinea in West Africa, having an overall road quality score of 2.2.

Guinea road is not just but deadly, as residents and traveler to the country describes.

In 2011, the Department of Health Information, operating under the Ministry of Health of the country, released data on retrospective descriptive analysis of fatality.

The data revealed that road traffic accidents in Guinea lead to a summative number of 1655 deaths, while the overall death rate was 15.3 per hundred-thousand populations.

Causes of Guinea bad roads 

The primary cause of the bad roads in Guinea results from poor infrastructure. It, in turn, causes fatality and road traffic accidents most often, making susceptible road users vulnerable to injuries.

Means of transportation

Road transport by taxi and motorcycle is the primary means of transport in Guinea. 

To travel around or between Guinea’s significant cities and towns, you have to use either since there’re no bus services.

Road traffic prevention policy 

An improvement to the quality of road infrastructural development will simultaneously reduce road traffic death in the country.

Road infrastructural rehabilitation in Guinea

The government of Guinea strives for construction, reconstruction, rehabilitation, and restoration of roads infrastructure

5. Angola

Angola is a country in East Africa lying on the West coast of Central Africa with a road quality score rating of 2.20. It has the 5th most dangerous road in Africa.

Causes of bad roads in Angola

The 40 years of war in Angola is the primary cause of their bad roads. All through the war period, the warring groups were planting landmines which damaged the roads.

The transportation system in Angola

To go round Angola, you will need to use the pale blue and white minibus cabs in the locality popularly called candogueiros. Also, there are taxis across the Angolan cities.

Efforts of the government to improve the road in Angola

Bearing in mind the abundance of natural resources and economic position of the region, the government of Angola has already started making plans to improve the country’s transport sector.

The government set aside a road maintenance fund to rebuild the decaying road infrastructure of the country. The plan is to promote the country’s socio-economic growth.

The Akz 100 billion funds, out of the 22.6 billion dollars (overall budget), is set for recovery of road ranging from a 46 kilometers distance covering Banga/Uiangombe/Caju/Samba to a 35.5 kilometers distance covering Quiculungo/Banga, and nine and a half kilometers that cover Bolongongo/Quiculungo.

The government is also making efforts to remove all landmines that were planted on Angolan roads by 2040.

How to safely go round the road of Angola

Roads in Angola usually have incidents of violence and political impasse. If you want to go round Angola without much trouble, you need to avoid night travel in some areas.

6. Cameroon

The 6th African country with the most dangerous roads is Cameroon, having a road quality rating of 2.40 (or 2.60)

The government of Cameroon estimates that every year, the country experiences 1,000 deaths from 16,583 road accidents.

Causes of bad roads in Cameroon

Cameroon has terrible road conditions of which 90% of the roads are not tarred and with poor construction.

Apart from the poor road infrastructure in the country, other causes of bad roads include:

  • Wrong attitudes of road users.
  • Deficiency of road safety signage.
  • Poor maintenance.

Means of transportation at Cameroon

The road is the primary means of transportation in Cameroon. However, bus transport is the most prevalent, with fleets traveling across Douala and Yaoundé.

Taxi, Benzikiner (motorcycle-taxi), taxi-buses, and trains are common in the locality. They cover cities and even long distances in the country.

Efforts to improve the road network in Cameroon

Cameroon’s ministry of transport is making efforts to improve the country’s road network by first setting up a committee in charge of the implementation of road signs, road safety, and drivers’ behavior.

7. Mozambique

Mozambique has one of the most dangerous roads in Africa, ranking 2.40 to 2.5 in road quality score

Almost every day in Mozambique, people die in road traffic while others sustain significant injuries.

About 39.35% of people from ages 25 to 38 die on transit annually, while 20.9% of people from ages 16 to 24 die on crashes.

Factors that make the road of Mozambique one of the most dangerous in Africa

Climatic changes in Mozambique, especially experiences of heavy rainfalls and flooding, destroy the country’s roads. 

In 2019, there was cyclone Idai that caused significant damage to infrastructures, especially the roads.

Other factors responsible for the dangerous road in Mozambique include:

  • The potholes on the street.
  • Reckless drive by road users.
  • Bad road signs.
  • Inadequate pedestrian protection.
  • Poor traffic law enforcement.
  • Destructive behaviors of drivers.

Means of transportation at Mozambique

The primary transportation means in Mozambique are the chapas (minibusses). Taxis also offer transport upon negations to any location in the country.

Attempt to improve the roads of Mozambique

In 2018, through the Integrated Feeder Roads Project (IFRDP), the World Bank gave out $150 million to the government of Mozambique to improve the roads across Manica, Zambezia Sofala, Nampula, and Tete.

8. Nigeria

The road in Nigeria is in awful condition, ranking 8th as the African country with the most dangerous roads. The country’s road quality rating is 2.5.

Why are Nigeria roads one of the most dangerous?

Nigerian roads are in bad condition, with potholes almost everywhere.

The major causes of the bad road in the country include poor construction and design, use of inferior construction materials, and poor maintenance culture.

Means of transportation in Nigeria

About 80% of travelers in Nigeria made use of road transportation. Others, however, use rail transport, water transport, and air transportation for their journeys.

Quest to improve the roads of Nigeria

The federal government of Nigeria, alongside agencies like the Federal Roads Maintenance Agency (FERMA), is working tirelessly towards improving the country’s road infrastructure. 

There are also plans on the ground to privatize road ownership in the country.

9. Gabon

The African country with the 9th most dangerous road in Gabon with a road traffic score of 2.50. every year in Gabon, about 6,900 persons experience serious road injuries.

Causes of road dangers in Gabon

Not paving roads is the core cause of bad roads in Gabon. The nonexistence of road signs, poor maintenance of the existing road, and lack of road safety implantation also causes many dangers on the road.

Plans on the improvement of the road in Gabon

The government of the country makes continuous efforts towards the improvement of roads in the country. 

The ‘Road Program Phases’ is helping out in making sure that the country has the best roads.

10. Lesotho

Lesotho is the 10th country in Africa with the most dangerous roads. The country has a road traffic score of 2.6.

Causes of bad roads in Lesotho

Lesotho has many unpaved road networks, and these roads lack maintenance, thereby causing frequent road accidents. 

Habits of some drivers such as overtaking wrongly and overspeeding also make the country’s road dangerous.

Efforts to improve Lesotho roads

The government at all levels in Lesotho is making efforts to improve the country’s road network. One of the most popular of the actions is the Lesotho – Mpharane-Bela Bela Road Upgrading Project.

Which country has terrible roads in Africa?

Mauritania has terrible roads in Africa with unimproved ones numbering 3,190 miles; un-surfaced roads 440 miles, then the surfaced roads 1,900 miles.

Which countries have the worst roads in the world?

An online geographical resource, WorldAtlas, published the Global Competitiveness Index for 2017-2018, which shows that Mauritania, Northwestern Africa has the worst road with a road quality of 2.

According to the data by Global Economy.com, providing economic and business data for 200 countries worldwide, the railroad infrastructure quality by the country for 2019 shows the following countries have the lowest road infrastructure quality:

Uruguay – 1.20

Albania – 1.20

Venezuela – 1.50

Colombia – 1.70

Benin – 1.70

Nigeria – 1.80

DR Congo – 1.90

Ghana – 1.90

Zimbabwe – 1.90

However, the IndianExpress global news on March 19, 2021, showed that South Africa has the worst road globally, considering the following:

  • percentage of road traffic deaths attributable to alcohol consumption
  • the proportion of car occupants, and
  • the number of road traffic deaths per 100,000 populations.

What is the deadliest road in the country, U.S?

Interstate 45 is the deadliest road in the U.S. It runs north to Dallas from Galveston, through Houston, Texas, with 56.5 fatal accidents in every 100 miles of roadway.


Road safety differs hugely from country to country. However, governments of the following countries listed above can improve the accessibility of access roads through the construction of good roads, implementation of road safety rules, and road monitoring, among others.

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