A study recently conducted in 24 African countries shows that the poor state of infrastructure in Sub Saharan Africa – its electricity, water, roads, and information and communications technology (ICT) – cuts national economic growth by 2 percentage points every year and reduces business productivity by as much as 40 percent.
“Africa’s Infrastructure: A Time for Transformation” finds that Africa has the weakest infrastructure in the world, but ironically Africans in some countries pay twice as much for basic services as people elsewhere. This study argues that well functioning infrastructure is essential to Africa’s economic performance and that improving inefficiencies and reducing waste could result in major improvements in African’s lives.
The report is the work of the Africa Infrastructure Country Diagnostic (AICD), an innovative knowledge program to improve public understanding of Africa’s infrastructure situation. By rigorously evaluating past infrastructure policy reforms, the AICD assists policymakers in setting priorities for current infrastructure investments and provides a baseline for monitoring progress. The AICD has undertaken data collection and analysis on the status of the main network infrastructures, including energy, information and communication technologies, irrigation, transport, and water and sanitation. The analysis encompasses public expenditure trends, future investment needs and sector performance reviews. Its datasets are publicly available online.