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Transport means the movement of goods, people and services from once place to another place. Transport is an important aid to trade.
Importance of Transport;
1. It can make goods available where they are demanded.
2. It facilitates mass production by enhancing supply of raw material movement of goods to the market, and necessary equipment for production.
3. Transport is one of factors, which improves trade relations within economic units.
4. It leads to the intensification of unity among the nations.
5. Leads to the spread of technology since transport facilitates communication between different places.
Types/forms of Transport
There are three main types/forms of transport. These include:
1. Land transport.
(a) Human portage
(b) Animal transport
(c) Road transport
(d) Railway transport
(e) Pipeline
2. Water transport
3. Air transport
a. Human portage
It is the most common type of transport used by the majority of the people in various parts of the world. This is because most of the parts in the world are remote, severely lacking capital and skills to put in place the modern methods of transport. A person who carries things is called as a porter.
Human portage has an advantage of being used where other forms of modern transport cannot be used. For instance in the mountainous or swampy areas.
Disadvantages are that it is extremely slow and laborious to the user. It is therefore, not very development to the country.
b. Animal Transport
It’s the form of transport, which involves the use of animal and is not so well developed in many parts of the world it is commonly used in those areas, which are wild and hostile so that other means of transport are hard or difficult to be used. The animals commonly used may include camels, donkeys, horses, cattle; dogs’ etc. animal can be used for riding as well as carrying or pulling loads. These animals, which are involved in this type of transport, are referred to as draught animals.
1. Animals are quicker than human being.
2. They carry heavier and larger loads than human being.
3. Animals are capable of being used in adverse (hard or hostile) condition like desert and waterlogged region.
4. It is relatively cheap and more developmental than human portage.
c. Road Transport
Road transport involves the use of vehicles, motorcycles, and so on. It is well developed in various parts of the world. The best example of well-developed road network is in Germany. In Africa; It is South Africa which has the best road network in the eastern part of the country due to mining, industrial development, trade and agriculture. In Tanzania and East Africa at large, road transport is the most important and it will continue to play a vital role in the economic development of the countries.
Advantages of Road Transport;
1. Road transport is flexible. It can be constructed to many places and can serve even individual homesteads.
2. Road transport offers a variety of transport facilitate giving a customer a wider choice of the type of facility to use. For example the facilities can be trucks, taxis buses etc.
3. It is faster and cheaper at shorter distances.
4. It is suitable for delivering perishable goods for short distance e.g. Vegetables, milk fruits and so on.
5. Road transport is easy to construct and run compared to railway transport.
6. Vehicles that run to the road do not need to run on time schedule like trains and planes. But schedule can be involved at a minimal extent with buses.
Disadvantages (Short comings);
1. It handles a specific and limited amount of goods.
2. Usually heavy loaded lorries are too slow to cover up the expected distance.
3. It is too risky especially for delicate goods. This can cause breakage or destruction goods like computers and glass materials causing a great loss.
4. Weather conditions tend to disrupt road transport especially during the rainy season.
5. It is highly susceptible to attacks by highway robbers on the way.
6. Road transport has led to the increase of road accidents leading to the loss lives of many people.
7. Road transport usually because of being too congested (traffic jam) in the urban areas may end up being very expensive and deterrent to the users.
8. Transport facilities have contributed to air and water pollution in the worlds.
9. Construction of roads encourages land degradation.
Germany especially West Germany has the most advanced road network.
The road network is characterized by modern system of motorways (Highways). The importance of roads in Germany has increased as a result the explosion in car ownership. Germany leads with the total of over 20 million automobiles and for every three people in the country there is one car unlike in India where for every 800 people there is one car. Other factors that have stimulated the development of roads in Germany are fast industrial development, advanced technology in road construction the mining industry and the development of tourism.
Problems which have been caused by the rapid development road network include congestion and road accident as well as air pollution which have led to the occurrence of acidic rain.
One of solution to these problems includes the construction of the wider motorways that run from Germany high-speed freeways with total length of about 11,000km (68,000mile). The motorways are relatively new form of transport. They tend to radiate from the capital cities. They began being constructed before the constructed before the World War II by Hitler for military reasons; Hitler was responsible for the construction of 3,200km of highways (autobahns). But by that time they were narrow while nowadays have been widened and the network enlarged. These roads are straight and cut directly through a country. They have a good surface and hence they facilitate efficient transportation with reduced chances of the occurrence of accidents.
Characteristics of Roads in Africa
1. Most of them are untracked and are not all water roads. Most of them can be used during the dry season and stop being used in the wet season.
2. They are not evenly distributed. The dense network is in areas which are economically potential, e.g. mining areas towns due to market industrial areas or politically influential like the administrative headquarters or capital cities.
3. Most of road were built during the colonial period and few have been added by the local governments.
4. They connect different nations and region but interconnection between local areas is poor.
d. Railways Transport
This involves the carrying of goods and passengers by train. Today railway transport has become an important means to transporting bulky goods. This has been a result of rapid industrial development in various parts of the world, where bulky raw materials and finished products have to be transported for long distance. Railway transport has also become an important of transport in Western Europe due to traffic congestion of various vehicles, which slows down greatly people’s movement.
Advantages of Railway Transport
1. It is suitable and relatively cheaper for transporting bulky commodities or goods over long distances.
2. It is less affected by unpredictable weather condition if is well constructed.
3. Once the railway has been constructed, Its operating costs are very low and hence freight charges are usually lower, over long distance than those charged by the roads for most commodities.
4. More loads and a greater number of people can be transported at a single journey compared to road and air transport systems.
Disadvantages of Railway Transport
1. The railways are expensive to build. A lot of money is required to lay down the lines and all other facilities e.g. stations warehouses etc.
2. It is not flexible like transport. Only areas with railways line are the ones that can be served. Also door to door service cannot be done with the railway transport.
3. It is not suitable for commodities, which are perishable, like milk and vegetables or goods which are urgently needed like medicine newspapers and so on.
4. Rail transport is not mostly efficient and time conserving. Especially in the developing world, train services are too slow and backward.
5. Because of strictly adhering to time schedule, sometimes it may cause some inconveniences and delays.
6. Rail transport is a bit costly in terms of equipment rail setting and train purchasing and maintenance.
7. The gauge of the railway lines vary from one place in some places the gauge range from 1.5 – 1.7 meters while other is as narrow as 1metre. Many parts of Africa have narrow gauges.
Characteristics of Railways Transport in Africa
1. The railway lines are running parallel to each other with little or no interconnection within local areas.
2. Most of them are running from the areas with economic importance to the coastal areas for export. For example – Ghana has a railway line running from Sekondi to the Tarkwa gold mining area, sierra Leone has a railway line which runs from Freetown. To Pendembo which was mainly to serve the oil-palm growing areas, Liberia had a railway line which was built to serve the iron-ore mining area in the interior. It runs from Monrovia to Rome hills. In Tanzania the central line runs from Mwanza (the source of raw materials and minerals, Kigoma and Rukwa the source of labor and minerals.
3. The railway lines are unevenly distributed. Some areas are better served and other is not. Good railway network is found in South Africa in the Eastern part.
Hence, in many parts of Africa there is a close relationship between railways and the location of mineral or areas of economic importance like mining areas agricultural areas labor reserves, etc.
Example of railway line is TAZARA railway line running from Dar es Salaam – Tanzania to Kapirimposhi – Zambia and the central line from Dar es Salaam to Mwanza, Kigoma and Mpanda.
South Africa has the most advanced railway network in Africa. This is concentrated in the eastern part of the country due to the presence of mineral deposits. Good agricultural land and presence of many industries. Railway construction began at Cape Town in 1859 and today a large portion of it is electrified. It is estimated that South Africa Railway handle more than a half of the total railway freight in Af
rica and covers within the territory a distance of more than 21773 km.
Advantage of Railway in South Africa
The railway system has stimulated industrial development, mining industry, development of town like Johannesburg, development of tourism in the country, increased mobility of the people expansion of market both internal and external the railway is used in the distribution of goods within the country and ferrying goods to the ports for export, it has facilitated the process of administration and information flow in the country.
These are type of pipes constructed to carry liquid material such a oil.Example of these pipeline is the TAZAMA which is jointly owned by Tanzania and Zambia carries oil from Dares salaam to Ndola in Zambia OR Is the transportation of good through a pipe.
Pipelines constitute another form of transport system which has grown in importance since the formation of the customs union in Europe.
Pipelines carry liquids especially oil. In Tanzania TAZAMA is an example of the pipeline which runs from Dar es Salaam oil refinery (TIPPER) to Ndola in Zambia which is 1700km. In Kenya the pipeline managed by Kenya Pipeline Company extends from Oil refinery near Mombasa to Nairobi covering a distance of some 450 km.
  1. It involves low unit costs and easy to maintain.
  2. There is no physical barriers.
  3. It has high ability to cover long distances.
  4. Where volume and market demand is sufficiently great and stead pipelines are more economical than forms of transportation.
  5. There is low rate of risk unlike tankers.
  6. It is very reliable.
Factors Limiting the Construction of Pipelines in Africa are:
  1. Low or lack of capital to be invested in the construction of the pipelines.
  2. High costs of construction are also a limiting factor.
  3. Poor cooperation between or among the countries in Africa.
  4. Political instability in different countries which lead to the outbreak, conflict like civil wars. These lead to the destruction of the pipelines and consume a lot of money could be invested in the construction of the pipelines.
  5. Lack of reliable deposits especially in Tanzania and other East Africa countries.
  6. Low technology among the Africans.
Economic Importance of the Pipelines in East Africa
  1. They have stimulated industrial development because of stimulating the supply of fuel oil in the countries.Example construction of industries in Mtwara region due to presence of gases pipeline.
  2. They have stimulated the development of trade between the countries sharing the pipelines. For example Tanzania has established strong relationship with Zambia because of sharing the TAZAMA pipeline.
  3. They have led to the creation of employment in the refineries and the industries developed of the better supply of oil through the pipelines.
  4. Also the life standard of the people in the countries has improved due to fuel supply.
  5. Pipelines have cut down costs of transportation.
Considering the geographical location of continents water transport is the most convenient means of handling the movement of goods between continents. This type of transport has been used from earliest times. This type of transport can be divided into two sub-divisions that are inland water transport and ocean transport.
This is one of the largest water in the world. It is formed by the great lakes of North America i.e. Lake Superior, Michigan, Erie, Huron and Ontario which are dreamed by the St. Lawrence River. It is shared by both Canada and the USA. The route covers 3,800 kilometers stretching from the mouth of the St. Lawrence River on the Atlantic coast to the port Duluth on the Lake Superior. The 50 kilometer long Wetland canal provides a link between Lakes Ontario and Lake Erie. Lake Huron and Erie are linked by St. Clair and Detroit River whose channels are drained frequently to improve their navigability. Lake Michigan and Huron are at the same level by a strait. The Lake Michigan lines entirely in the USA while other are on the border of the USA and Canada. The Soo Canal or Sault St. Marie Canal bypasses rapids on the St. Mary’s River to facilitate navigation between Lakes Huron and Superior.

13. Show the role of different communication media (means of communication) in Tanzania.
14. Explain how negative and positive reporting on women affairs can affect their status in the society.

15. Show how positive reporting can lead to the reduction in gender inequality in the society.

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