Report Predicts Development In Africa’s Infrastructure | Independent Newspapers Limited
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Report Predicts Development In Africa’s Infrastructure

Posted: Jun 28, 2015 at 12:02 am   /   by   /   comments (0)

 By Anthonia Soyingbe,  Lagos.

Dealing with Africa’s infrastructure backlog and its future demands are high on the agenda of leaders and the civil society on the continent and abroad. While the continent’s infrastructure currently lags behind that of the rest of the world with some 30 percent in a dilapidated condition, there is widespread recognition of the vast business opportunities on the continent as a growing consumer market as well as vast opportunities for infrastructure investment and development.

According to PwC’s ‘Capital Projects and Infrastructure in East Africa, Southern Africa and West Africa: Trends, Challenges and Future Outlook report issued at a media parley in Lagos last weekend, infrastructure spending in the region is estimated to grow from US$70 billion in 2014 to US$180 billion annually by 2025.

region-web-map-SSA-largeThe report, which presented the findings of a 2014 survey of key players in the infrastructure sector, including donor funds, financiers, government organisations and private companies across East, West and Southern Africa, indicated an opportunity-filled future for infrastructure development in sub-Saharan Africa. The sectors surveyed included water, transport and logistics, energy, mining, telecoms, and real estate, with the main focus being on economic infrastructure.

Highlighting the different stages of development and uniqueness of each country, the report provides insights into the world of infrastructure delivery across African countries and regions in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA). It showcases the drivers for success, the current thinking and challenges stakeholders are experiencing within the region.

Capital Projects & Infrastructure (CP&I) Leader for PwC Africa, Jonathan Cawood, said, “The shallow economic recovery in most developed markets has shifted the focus to faster-growing regions. This is also true for the infrastructure development sector. With an abundance of natural resources and recent mineral, oil and gas discoveries, demographic and political shifts and a more investor-friendly environment, the investor spotlight shines brightly on Africa. While the recent shifts in oil price, currency and internal security challenges may impact in the short term, the fundamentals for growth haven’t changed. Hence we believe the outlook for infrastructure development and economic growth remains positive. A peaceful transition to a new ruling party in the recent elections has injected further optimism and confidence.”

Respondents from West Africa were especially optimistic, with 58% planning an increase of more than 25% in spending, followed by those in East Africa (53%) and Southern Africa (40%). Speaking on the report, Ian Aruofor, PwC CP&I West Market leader noted that: “West Africa is one of the most attractive destinations for investors in infrastructure. The region’s growing population and its wealth of natural resources are the foundation for sustainable economic growth. It is clearly evident that sustaining West Africa’s impressive economic growth profile requires vast investment in enabling infrastructure. Improving governance, institutional reforms, trade, technology and an empowered workforce lend credibility to West Africa’s growth story.”

South Africa and Nigeria, according to the report, have the most ambitious infrastructure programmes and together make up almost 60% of the spend across sub-Saharan Africa. Kenya follows as the third largest in planned spend.

“Resolving these identified challenges quickly and creatively will not only positively affect the outcome of current projects, but more importantly, will attract other project developers, owners and investors to enter the African market. It will also reduce the number of delays and the size of cost overruns, providing an example to other project owners and investors that African infrastructure can truly be developed efficiently and profitably,” says Aruofor.