Renaissance: Rail networks transforming Africa

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Over the past decade Africa has been rife with infrastructure developments that hitherto continue to steadily transform the continent, spurring the much-needed economic development. This is well aligned to aspiration 2 of Africa’s Agenda 2063, which advocates for ‘an integrated continent politically united based on the ideas of Pan Africanism and the vision of African Renaissance’ with the key priority area of developing world class infrastructure that crisscrosses Africa. Inadequate infrastructure in Sub-Saharan Africa has remained an existential hurdle to the continent’s achievement of robust economic growth. According to a report by Deloitte, this status quo has reduced national economic growth by two percentage points every year, and cut business productivity by as much as 40 per cent. In reiteration, another report by McKinsey and Company highlights that Africa faces an infrastructure paradox, in that there is need and availability of funding together with a large pipeline of potential projects but not enough money is being spent. Resultantly, this has made moving projects to financial close poor, with 80 per cent of infrastructure projects failing at the feasibility and business-plan stage. Given that Africa is viewed as the world’s fastest growing economic hub, appetite for investments in infrastructure have been

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