Africa's Infrastructure- A time for Transformation (many resources)

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This is a major new resource on infrastructure in Africa- there are many resources on this site including rationale for investing in infrastructure, If you are looking for inputs to local economy assessments on infrastructure, this resource will make a contribution.

Africa’s Infrastructurei: A Time for Transformation highlights the results of the Africa Infrastructure Country Diagnostic (AICD), a study conducted by a partnership of institutions including the African Union Commission, African Development Bank, Development Bank of Southern Africa, Infrastructure Consortium for Africa, the New Partnershipi for Africa’s Development, and the World Bank.

The study is one of the most detailed ever undertaken on the African continent. Surveys were conducted among 16 rail operators, 20 road entities, 30 power utilities, 30 ports, 60 airports, 80 water utilities, and over 100 ICT operators, as well as the relevant ministries in 24 countries. The results were derived from detailed analysis of spending needs (based on country-level microeconomic models), fiscal costs (which involved collecting and analysis of new data) and sector performance benchmarks (covering operational and financial aspects as well as the country’s institutional framework).

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Africa Infrastructure- the Conference and the official website

Thanks Gwen for sharing this link. I attended the 'Development Dialogue on Africa's Infrastructure: A Time for Transformation' jointly organised by the Africa Institute of south Africa and the World Bank, last monday in Pretoria and during which Vivien Foster, Senior Economist at the World bank and one of the editors of the Report presented it to the public. Foster's Powerpoint presentation vividly drove home the findings of the 4-year long study, namely that: 1.   Infrastructure has been a major driver of strong economic growth in Africa in recent years; better infrastructure could make an even greater contribution. Improving the infrastructure of Sub-Saharan Africa to the level enjoyed today by the regional infrastructure leader — Mauritius – could add as much as 2.2 percentage points to annual per capita growth. 2.   In terms of infrastructure, except for a few countries, Africa lack far behing other developing countries. Striking to note, in 1970, Sub-Saharan Africa had almost three times the electrical generating capacity per capita as did South Asia. By 2000, however, the situation had reversed: South Asia now has almost twice the capacity per capita. 3.   The prices paid by African consumers for infrastructure services are exceptionally high by global standards. Foster blamed this on the small scale of production (the national geographical and demographical limits being often very small to allow proper economy of scale) and on the lack of competition: It is often a case of high profit marging rather than high cost. 4.   The imperative to approach African infrastructure development from a regional integration perspective. 5.   For Africa to catch up on infrastructure with other developing regions over the next 10 years, an annual investment of $93 billion would be required. 6.   Africa is already spending $45 billion a year on its infrastructure needs—about half of the amount needed to achieve its goals and to close the gap with other regions. 7.    More efficient use of existing resources could release an additional $17.4 billion in finance for infrastructure each year. These efficiency issues include reducing red tape, fighting corruption, improving operational efficiency, and increasing cost recovery which mean reducing infrastructure subsidies which Foster asserted often do not benefit the poor but rather the well-to-do segments of African societies (perhaps one of the controversial conclusions of the report) 8.    Even if the full potential for efficiency gains were realized, a substantial infrastructure funding gap of $31 billion a year would remain. Foster's excellent Powerpoint presentation - a must see for all (she promised it will soon be uploaded on the official website) used the metaphor of the leaking bucket half full ($45 billion) . The challenge is to stop the leaking( thus raising $17 billion) and raising the other $31 billion needed to make the total of $93 billion needed yearly to catch up with the developed world. Here the link to the official website

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