NAIROBI, Kenya, Aug 21 – Africa will have an infrastructure deficit estimated at Sh9.5 trillion per annum for the next 20 years.
Speaking during the Africa Business Forum, South African Trade Minister Rob Davies said that available colonial era infrastructure was only geared towards fulfilling its role as a mere producer and exporter.
“Colonialism has created infrastructure that was only geared towards the continent fulfilling its role as mere producer and exporter of primary commodities that were taken to other people’s economies. There is a huge amount of catch-up that we need to undergo as a continent in order to achieve regional integration,” said Davies.
The continent is also losing over 40 percent of its competitiveness due to the absence of infrastructure or inefficiency of established infrastructure.
He emphasized the role of infrastructure saying it would provide roads, rail, ports, energy transmission lines and ICT connectivity which are all necessary to facilitate economic development.
“Infrastructure can be an important counter-cyclical tool because by infrastructure development we can to generate economic activity even if some of the other forms of economic activities are suffering from the negative waves,” he continued.
The continent, therefore, needs integration which is dependent on three factors: free trade areas, infrastructure development and cooperation which are essential in promoting industrial development across the continent.
“We need to partner to build the required infrastructure and the real capability that will assist all of us build our countries. Adequate, effective, affordable and well-maintained infrastructure is an essential tool for Africa’s growth and development,” he said in conclusion.