Browsing: Developing Africa’s infrastructure

While American businesses handle the USTDA-funded feasibility studies, African partners focus on business development “may acquire funding from any of the parties available. We do not have any requirements about the source of the financing for that initiative; nevertheless, we would prefer that they work with other government agencies in the United States, “Ebong added.

According to Ebong, the return on investment for feasibility studies is approximately $117 for every dollar spent, which converts into jobs in the United States.

She went on to say that infrastructure is “essential to commerce”, that “we are totally competitive,” and that “This is evidenced by the fact that many partners are choosing American companies over Chinese ones when they are in direct rivalry with one another.”

While the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) has become a reality, developing robust infrastructure is crucial to its operationalisation and success. 

For maximum benefit, member states to the trade agreement must be connected physically and digitally through hard infrastructure and connected in the harmonisation and coordination of processes through soft infrastructure. 

The pact connecting 1.3 billion people across the 55 African countries with a combined gross domestic product (GDP) valued at US$3.4 trillion faces huge challenges that need quick responses. These responses range from the dependence of African economies on commodity production and exports, the lack of diversification which has caused a mismatch between supply and demand, tariffs and non-tariff barriers (NTBs), inefficient transport infrastructure and poor trade logistics to high-security risk among others.