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17. Rhetoric and Reality of Rural Road Building: Two Tales from Cambodia and Uganda

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Chapter Summary

Reviewing official development policy documents of Cambodia and Uganda offers the impression that the two countries are committed to rural bias policies in terms of rural infrastructural development with the objective of achieving poverty reduction. This chapter explores the extent to which such rural policies have been translated into actual investments by examining the rural road sector. First, it reviews the theoretical debate on the correlation between rural road development and poverty reduction in rural areas. Next, the chapter examines conditions of rural roads in Uganda and Cambodia. Then, it analyzes patterns of financial allocations for the construction and maintenance of rural roads via government channels and informal mechanisms. Although financial investment in rural roads in both countries is limited, the rural road sector in Cambodia appears to benefit from informal investment funded by the ruling party.

Keywords: Cambodia; poverty reduction; rural road development; Uganda



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