Infrastructure

Infrastructure

The AfDB estimates around USD 35-47bn is needed annually in Africa to spend on road, rail, air and port infrastructure, with most (80%) allocated to maintenance and rehabilitation of existing infrastructure, which has become outdated and inefficient. Globally, investors allocated a record high of USD 85bn to infrastructure funds in 2018, and the positive momentum is expected to continue into 2019 (Source: Preqin).

Rail

Rail network by region Download the graph PDF (26KB)

The Southern Africa excl. SA region has the largest rail network in absolute terms due to multiple routes to each country’s ports for export, as well as routes into South Africa, where most of the region’s imports originate. South Africa’s rail network far outstrips the rest of the continent, but parts of it have become abandoned, and others need an upgrade.

The large portion of East Africa’s expansion projects under construction refers to the region’s joint railway that is intended to link Kenya’s Mombasa port to Uganda, Rwanda and South Sudan. Kenya has completed the initial phase of the project linking Mombasa to Nairobi. However, the project has recently experienced delays, as is common with multi-country projects. Both Rwanda and Uganda are said to have switched focus to other projects at the expense of this one. Ethiopia has over 1 000km of rail expansion currently under construction, however, it has similarly seen delays due to financial shortages.

In Southern Africa, several expansion projects are in the early planning stages. In addition to what is shown in the graph, several upgrade and maintenance projects are currently underway.

In Southern Africa, several expansion projects are in the early planning stages. In addition to what is shown in the graph, several upgrade and maintenance projects are currently underway.

Upgrade and maintenance projects are underway in Nigeria, most notably the Lagos-Kano railway line modernisation project. The larger expansion projects in the planning and feasibility stages are the Ogun state intercity railway line and the Abuja light rail project. The Nigerian government recently approved funding for the new coastal railway between Lagos and Calabar. The project is expected to cover 1 400km and to run across the south east and south of the country.

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