Infrastructures, like roads, contribute a lot in uplifting a country’s economy. Roads maintain the fluid and constant movement of people and commerce. It’s no surprise that countries with the worst roads are also among the poorest.
The World Economic Forum rates the road quality of countries around the world. Their findings are published in the Global Competitive Index. The quoted scores are out of 7.
For 2017-2018, the following countries have the worst roads:
Mauritania (Road Quality Score: 2.0)
Mauritania is the eleventh largest country in Africa. It’s located at the northwest of the continent. The country experiences a desert or semi-desert climate, which is problematic for repairing and maintaining roads.
There is a 450 km motorway that connects the cities of Nouakchott (capital) and Nouadhibou. Only 3,000 km of Mauritania’s roads are paved. Meanwhile, 710 km are unpaved and 5,140 km remain unimproved.
Most of the roads are in bad shape. Traveling by land poses many difficulties and roadside help is almost nonexistent.
Democratic Republic of the Congo (Road Quality Score: 2.1)
The Democratic Republic of the Congo, in Central Africa, has the fewest paved roads relative to its population and size. Of its measly 2,250 km of paved highways, only 1,226 km is in good condition.
Most of the road network consists of unpaved tracks, country roads, and footpaths. Congo’s rough terrain and climate make it difficult to build, repair, and maintain roads.
Civil wars and corruption in government worsened the sad state of Congo’s roads. Many crumbled during the wars that took place in 1996-1997 and 1998-2003. Air and water transport are the reliable means of transportation in the country.
Haiti (Road Quality Score: 2.1)
Haiti is a sovereign state on the island of Hispaniola. The country’s dismal economy has a lot to do with its poor infrastructure. It’s helpless without remittances and foreign aid.
Of the 6,045 km highway that runs across Haiti, 2,971 km are paved and 3,071 km are unpaved. Transportation systems are concentrated in or near the capital city, Port-Au-Prince. Aside from foreign help, Haiti also loaned from the World Bank to rebuild its national roads.
Many towns have endured bad road conditions for many years. Citizens living in far-flung areas have limited access to basic facilities.
Other Countries with the Worst Roads
Political instability and poor economy drag down the quality of roads. Moreover, road-building and roadcare is difficult in areas with unfavorable climate.
Rounding up the top 10 countries with the worst road quality are: Madagascar (2.2), Guinea (2.2), Yemen (2.3), Paraguay (2.4), Ukraine (2.4), Mozambique (2.5), and Moldova (2.5).