EcoRoad Africa

Africa’s Transportation Infrastructure

 

Summary and Key to Infrastructure

 

Transportation Summary

                                

          Africa’s road access rate is 34 per cent compared with 50 per cent in other geographical zones. Roads are the dominant mode of transportation, accounting for more than 90 per cent of passenger and freight transport in Africa, compared with around 50 per cent of freight in Europe.

 

          The continent’s rail network coverage is sparse, with low interconnectivity.

 

           African maritime ports and inland waterways are not exploited for travel.

 

          Continental transport costs are among the highest in the world, with those of landlocked countries accounting for up to 70 per cent of the value of exports.

 

          The above are averages with wide variations among regions. A better interconnected Africa, internally and with the rest of the world, would create larger markets and  facilitate the achievement of the millennium development goals (MDGs) and other internationally agreed upon benchmarks.

 

In this respect, African countries aspire to have a well-developed and coordinated, efficient and safe infrastructure.

 

Roads

In Africa roads are the most important mode of transport.  They carry 80% to 90% of the region’s passenger and freight transport and provide the only form of access to most rural communities.  Transport costs can comprise as much as 77% of the value of African exports for some of the continent’s poorest countries.

 

Urban

Transport in the urban areas of many African countries is characterised by declining standards of public transport, massive growth in the use of private vehicles, inadequate and deteriorating infrastructure, and poor facilities for pedestrians and cyclists.  In 2000, one in three Africans lived in a city – this will rise to one in two by 2030.  In most cities, authorities are having difficulty meeting the service demands of new urban residents, particularly the poor. 

 

Missing regional links

Proximity to markets, goods that arrive on time, competitiveness of logistics services, efficiency of cross-border operations, are all issues that govern the ability of any given country to benefit from trade growth in the global economy.  This is particularly true in Africa which is home to half of the world’s landlocked developing countries, and where the need to facilitate greater intra-African trade and international trade is acute. 

 

Rural

Most African countries have a good network of rural roads – the problem is improving and maintaining their quality over time.  Rural roads carry only 20% of total motorised traffic, but provide access to the majority of the population in Sub-Saharan Africa countries.  Most local rural transport involves walking or carrying and moving people and goods distances of around 20-50 km can be particularly difficult. The impact on women is particularly profound.

 

Ports, Maritime Infrastructure and Waterways

International container transport is in full boom. However, the development of this mode of transport is currently hampered in Africa due to lack of port infrastructure. New facilities planned would have to be coordinated with the construction of road and rail networks, to ensure interface between different modes of transport.

 

 

IN ORDER FOR AFRICA TO BECOME MORE COMPETATIVE, OR REALIZE IS PRODUCTIVE POTENTIAL, MASSIVE IMPROVEMENTS IN INFRASTRUCTURE ARE NEEDED.

 

 

Improved Transportation Infrustructure Key to Economic Growth

 

Inadequate infrastructure is holding back Africa’s economic growth per capita by 2% each year, and reducing firms’ productivity by as much as 40 percent.  The poor and inadequate state of much of Africa’s transport network is holding many countries back from competing effectively on the global market. Effective transport networks are a key component of the investment climate, enabling people and goods access to markets and reducing the costs of doing business.

 

Good infrastructure has historically proven to be a key factor in economic development and is a precondition for, and an enabler of, growth for private sector development and for trade:

 

§         Building and maintaining roads, expanding ports  boosts output and jobs

§         Poor infrastructure has blocked the quick movement of goods and people in the continent and increased transport costs.  Africa’s transport costs, local, national and international, are around twice as high as those for a typical Asian country.

 

 

Solutions for Africa’s Infrastructure

 

         The Commission for Africa report – released in 2007  – specifically recommended the scaling up of critical infrastructure investments to raise productivity, support trade, and thereby sustain growth and poverty reduction on the continent.

 

          Africa is spending much more on infrastructure, but even so the magnitude of the funding gap remains large.  This combination of limited resources and large requirements clearly indicates that priority must be given to  LEAST COST SOLUTIONS.

 

          This is where the role of soil stabilizers and know-how come to play. With proven track records in America, Europe and Asia, it is now time to bring this technology to all of Africa.

 

          Soil Stabilizers and technology provide top-performing, time-saving, ecological  and most importantly cost effective solutions when compared with traditional road and construction practices.  This is what is most critically needed in Africa at this time.

 

 

The importance of a viable transport infrastructure system is closely connected to the economic, technological and social renaissance of Africa.

 

THIS TECHNOLOGY COULD NOT ONLY MODERNIZE THE WAY AFRICA STABILIZES SOILS AND AGGREGATES, AS WELL AS CONTROLS DUST AND EROSION, BUT COULD REVOLUTIONIZE AFRICA’S TRANSPORTATION INFRASTRUCTURE.