Infrastructure development is a key driver for progress across the African continent and a critical enabler for productivity and sustainable economic growth. It contributes significantly to human development, poverty reduction, and the attainment of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). Investment in infrastructure accounts for over half of the recent improvement in economic growth in Africa and has the potential to achieve even more.
Developing Infrastructure for Growth
- For Africa, the need for adequate infrastructure—secure energy, efficient transport, reliable communication systems, resilient sanitation, and affordable housing—is particularly apparent.
- Africa’s vast infrastructure deficit is a constraint on its growth, but also an opportunity to leapfrog to new, more efficient technologies.
- As Africa becomes more urbanized, public goods will become easier and cheaper to deliver to a more geographically concentrated population.
- Key challenges will be to supply the burgeoning population with reliable electricity, affordable housing, and transport infrastructure, though these industries will also create new jobs.
Housing, where available, is simply not affordable for the vast majority of Africans.
Together, these countries account for 65% of the people who lack access to electricity in Africa.
The transport sector needs to be better oriented towards enhancing human and social capital.
Information and Communication Technology
- The Internet’s contribution to Africa’s overall GDP is low, but is projected to grow to at least 5 to 6%, the same level as Sweden, Taiwan, and the United Kingdom, by 2025.
- In 2012, over 197.6 million people in Africa are using the internet, which corresponds to 18.6% of the population.
- Broadband coverage is at 16% and will likely reach 99% by 2060.