Infrastructure development across the continent is the most visible face of regional integration. It includes highways being built across borders, flights taking passengers from one capital to another and more people on mobile phones on city streets and at rural outposts.
Countless connections made by road, by air or increasingly by airwaves have an important impact on Africa’s integration efforts, expanding horizons and concrete realities on the ground. When regional infrastructure works better, business costs fall as transport corridors speed goods across boundaries and more customers access services as mobile phone roaming expands.
A flagship project in Agenda 2063 is to connect Africa’s capitals and commercial centres through high-speed rail. Meanwhile, programmes, such as PIDA (Programme for Infrastructure Development in Africa), are helping regions to get infrastructure projects off the ground. Information technology costs are also falling and there are plans for internet to be beamed to the continent via satellite.
Regional hubs, as well as small or landlocked countries, have a lot to gain from promoting infrastructure to boost economic growth. Both traditional and new funding partners are continuing to invest in Africa’s infrastructure at regional level. To power the continent’s energy needs and build first-class networks, regions and countries need to encourage stronger ownership and involve the private sector.
- Infrastructure Development Index: transport; electricity; ICT; water and sanitation
- Proportion of intra-regional flights
- Total regional electricity trade (net) per capita
- Average cost of roaming
Going forward it will mean focusing on green-friendly, growth opportunities that support communities and Africa’s next generation.
- IGAD is the highest performing REC on Regional infrastructure.
- Regional infrastructure has average REC scores (0.461) closest to the average REC scores on regional integration overall (0.470).
- There are a total of 30 high performing countries across the eight RECs on Regional infrastructure.
- High performing countries on Regional infrastructure in a particular REC that are not high performers on regional integration overall in that REC:
CEN-SAD (Libya, Sudan, Guinea, Nigeria, Egypt, Ghana), COMESA (Libya, Burundi), EAC (Burundi), ECCAS (Congo, Angola), ECOWAS (Cabo Verde, Ghana, Gambia), IGAD (Djibouti, South Sudan), SADC (Seychelles), UMA (Libya)