Power outages and the lack of roads, railways, and ports have long been a frustrating feature of business in Africa, hindering home grown entrepreneur and foreign investor alike.
To become more competitive globally, Africa must close these infrastructure gaps to unlock quality growth for the continent, enabling Africa’s smallholder farmers and rural communities to enjoy the benefits of more equitable economic growth.
If Africa is to make the transition from high growth to transformative growth, then it must overcome three obstacles: (1) Lack of access to formal financial services. Two thirds of adult Africans do not have a bank account, let alone access to savings, credit, or insurance; (2) weakness of Africa’s infrastructure; its poor roads and ports, its lack of electricity, sanitation, and water; (3) lack of funds for public investment. To close the region’s vast deficits, governments must mobilise the tax revenues and external finance needed to underpin public investment.
Innovation will be key to closing the continent’s infrastructure gap, and Africa has plenty of that.