Building Africa to bridge the infrastructure deficit

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Most African countries lag behind the rest of the world in the coverage of key infrastructure classes including energy, road and rail transportation, together with water infrastructure. Development of Africa’s infrastructure has been met by colossal roadblocks, which have largely stemmed from the endemic systemic corruption that continues to ail the continent, making it one of the biggest hurdles to development. Consequently, this has made attracting foreign investment a nightmare.

This further affirms the description by McKinsey and Company that the continent faces an infrastructure paradox whereby Africa’s track record in moving projects to financial close is poor. Despite the high demand for projects, sufficient supply of capital and investors, coupled with voluminous potential projects there is insufficient investment in infrastructure projects within the region. 

Presently, more than two-thirds of the global population without access to electricity is in Sub-Saharan Africa, which is an equivalence of 600 million people. For instance, in Mali, the average person uses less electricity in a year overall, than a Londoner uses to just power their tea kettle. In addition, with the population bulge, forecasts reveal that Africa’s demand for electricity will quadruple between 2010 and 2040.

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