The African continent has the most unreliable infrastructural development globally. However, the Programme for Infrastructure Development in Africa (PIDA) and the African Development Bank (ADB) have a 30 years strategy to develop at least 51 infrastructural projects by 2040. This will play a significant role in infrastructure development.
Implementations and commencement of 16 of these projects are underway. Unfortunately, there is a deficit of $300 billion to complete the whole plan. Below are three reasons why African governments should focus on infrastructure development.
Africa’s ballooning population
- Africa’s population is over 1.2 billion and has been growing with a margin of over 2% every year. Africa’s youth population (under 25 years old) accounts for the lion share of close to 75%, according to the United Nations Organization.
As a result, African governments should relentlessly strive to create more infrastructure. In so doing, they create job opportunities in tons. It then prevents youths from indulging in criminal activities and drug abuse. Supporting the young generation with access to road and rail networks would undoubtedly increase their productivity. In the same breath, a rapid and modern communication system would arguably boost political stability and security intelligence.
For social and economic transformation
- 27 Sub-Saharan countries in Africa account for the world’s poorest nations with a poverty rate of over 30%, as noted by the Brookings Institution. Nonetheless, Africa has approximately 30% of the world’s natural resources yet to be explored. This is due to conflicts, lack of resilience, and weak political institutions.
Infrastructure development is one of the few aspects that directly snowballs a country’s productivity and wealth. For example, providing a reliable transport network cuts commuting costs. Besides that, it ensures that farm outputs and minerals reach the market on time. Also, doing this opens opportunities to explore marginalized regions.
To boost trade and attract foreign investors
- A quarter of Africa’s roads are tarmacked. Only eastern and southern Africa has relatively paved roads. The Poor road network increases the cost of trading among African nations by close to 40%.
On the other hand, less than 38% of Africa has a reliable electricity connection. This glitch dwindles most African economies by 2% every year. Consequently, it has made it extremely difficult for most businesses to operate seamlessly.
Africa has six of the fastest-growing economies in the world. But still, African governments should come up with nifty and consensual strategies to grow harmonized infrastructural facilities across all countries. More funds ought to be channeled to developing ongoing and stalled projects. Doing this would certainly make regions more interconnected, offer better private-public partnerships, and better the continent’s productivity generally. Infrastructure development should be at the forefront of African governments.