Business Daily (Nairobi)

31 January 2012

Africa: Infrastructure Investment Can Spur Africa Growth

opinion

Any African nation that is serious about the realisation of vibrant economic growth must strategically invest in infrastructure.

Road and rail transport should therefore be prioritised as two critical infrastructural essentials for national economic and business growth.

It is therefore important for African governments to work extra hard towards opening up all corners of their countries through construction of roads and rail networks.

Such an initiative is critical if African governments would like to see an economically empowered citizenry and realize poverty eradication in their countries.

When road and rail system is accompanied by energy distribution in the form of rural electrification programmes, a country has no option but to develop.

Lack of infrastructural development is synonymous with retrogression and widespread poverty.

Infrastructural investment is important because it enables a nation to develop equitably and fast hence doing away with such retrogressive policies such as the 'developed centre and under-developed periphery' which has been the case in many of the least - developed African states.

A nation that is well networked by both road and rail system is a cohesive and peaceful nation since infrastructural development automatically create conducive business environment in all corners of a country.

Different regions within a nation can therefore trade freely making them interdependent.

Resources are naturally distributed through business transactions hence no section of the society can complain of economic marginalisation and uneven business opportunities.

Countries such as Switzerland, Germany, France and Britain among others are economically powerful as a result of investing heavily in Infrastructure.

It is not a secret that Africa as a continent is in dire need of national, regional and Trans - continental road and rail networks.

Lack of major road and rail network system has made it difficult for Africa as a continent to trade with itself.

This scenario has forced nearly all African countries to fight for the same markets in Europe, North America and other parts of the world. With intensive and extensive infrastructural development in Africa, African countries will not need to always look to the west as a major market for their goods.

The need for value addition that has today become a song with little being done about it will only come to fruition when adequate infrastructure is put in place.

Mr Sonye is a governance consultant.

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