PUBLISHED ON July 24th, 2014


Infrastructure deficit is a big problem in Africa estimated to reduce industrial production by 40 per cent and making the cost of doing business very high.

Massive investment is required to finance the development of electricity, roads, railways, airports, seaports and waterways as well as ICTs.

Countries, sub-regions and the continent must scale up mobilisation of resources for infrastructure financing, with an affordable and diversified mechanism that would go a long way in reducing the burden on governments which are limited by how much revenue can be raised in any given financial year.

Countries need to enhance their efforts in accessing potential global sources of finance for Africa’s infrastructure needs. The G-20 established a High Level Panel (HLP) for infrastructure, whose goal is to mobilise such finances.

At the AU level, a Presidential initiative, Programme for Infrastructure Development for Africa (PIDA), is expected to synchronise the long term development of infrastructure in Africa, and with the collaboration of African Development Bank (AfDB), the African Union Commission, the Regional Economic Communities like the East African Community (EAC), as well as NEPAD, it is envisaged that critical investment as well as resource gaps will be addressed.

Huge finances will be required to start new infrastructure projects as well as to maintain existing investments. To keep up with the required pace for sustainable socioeconomic development, dictated by population growth, rural urban migration and need for industrialisation, the continent needs new generation capacity for up to 7000 megawatts a year.

Because of ability by some countries more than others to develop this power, there is need for regional power trade that requires about 22,000 megawatts of cross-border transmission lines.

The intraregional fibre-optic network and the continental submarine cable loop should serve to connect capitals, ports, border crossing for persons and goods. This could feed into good quality roads that connect secondary cities.

Absence of all-season roads in some parts has hindered access to high-value agricultural land.

Availability of clean and portable water would contribute to higher yields because of irrigation, better health and sanitation, hence meeting the Millennium Develop Goals (MDGs).

Source: The New Times

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of TradeMark Africa.