Reliable transport infrastructure, in its entire four subsectors—roads, railways, air transport and ports are essential components of African countries’ competitiveness. It is particularly crucial for landlocked countries, for which it is a prerequisite to opening up production zones. Reliable transport must be in place for companies to import and export goods, to fill orders, and to obtain supplies (Source AFDB).
Rail Infrastructure Latest Developments:
- Nigeria: Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) has been signed between the government the State government and the China Civil Engineering Construction (CCEC) firm for the construction of a 24km light rail transport program in Ibadan, the Oyo State capital
- Kenya: The new 471 km Mombasa-Nairobi Standard Gauge railway line in Kenya is set to be extended by 120 km to Naivasha; this is according to a report from State House, Nairobi. 90 per cent of the standard gauge railway is being financed by the Chinese Export-Import Bank.
- Tanzania has announced a bid to construct a railway network at the cost of US$ 15bn. The railway project will see Dar connected to Rwanda and Burundi through a 2,561 km standard gauge railway line. This will be constructed at US$ 8bn.
- The foundation of a 491km railway in Ethiopia has been finally laid. The railway project will link Addis Ababa with Bedele and will be among eight national routes set to be built by the Ethiopian Railways Corporation with more than 25 stations available
- Angola is set to construct an additional 10600 km railway network at a cost of 50 billion US dollars on top of the existing network connecting provinces of Luanda and Malanj; Lobito Luau, Namibe and Menongue, would see creation of three main channels, north/south and east, north/south and the coast, north/south and the centre
- Southern Africa is the only region in Africa with a fairly good road transport system. South Africa in particular is reported to have 62km of road per 100km square kilometers close to the United States of America that has 67km of roads per 1000 square kilometre
- On average, Africa’s road connectivity has grown by 7,500km a year over the past decade. The Africa Development Bank names Tanzania and Lesotho as among the countries leading the pack in road connectivity with an annual increase of 15% and 24% respectively
- In a move that signals a bright future for Africa, the Cairo-Cape town highway which was revived in the 80s is set for completion in 2016. The road network is being developed in partnership with the African Union, the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa and the African Development Bank
- The Trans Sahara Highway which links several African countries is progressing well and maybe completed this year. The project aims to facilitate trade and regional integration between the Arab Maghreb Union, Economic Communities of West Africa and Central Africa States
- In Nigeria, a new plan for infrastructure development with emphasis on roads development devised by the National Planning Commission, branded National Integrated Infrastructure Master Plan (NIIMP) estimates that $3tn will be required in the next 30 years to build and maintain adequate infrastructure supplies in Nigeria
- Kenya on the other hand has been planning to build 10,000km road through alternative financing. The 5-year plan branded Annuity Financing Framework-where the private sector enters into financing agreements with the government for infrastructure projects-would see new roads built in a bid to foster investment and economic development in Kenya.
- With infrastructure seen as a prerequisite for poverty eradication and regional Integration, South Africa Development Community (SADC) developed the Regional Infrastructure Development Master Plan as a strategic framework guiding infrastructure development in Southern Africa
- The Tema port expansion in Ghana has received a US$1.5bn finance boost. The expansion will mould the Tema port into a multi-purpose facility that will include a 4 container berths which will be contained on a 1.4km quay. On the other hand a 16m draft and a 3.85km breakwater will be made along the dredged port access channel which will be 19m in depth with a 250m width to host giant vessels (Source: constructionreviewonline)
- P. Moeller-Maersk A/S, owner of the world’s largest shipping container line, is seeking to win contracts to build and upgrade ports in Nigeria and Kenya as the Danish company expands its African operations (Source: Bloomberg)
- In 2013, Maersk partnered with Bollore SA and Bouygues SA to win a 450 million-euro ($500 million) contract to build a second container terminal in Abidjan, Ivory Coast’s commercial capital. The terminal would start operating in 2016 (Source: Bloomberg)
- Nigeria: Lekki Deep Seaport project is scheduled for completion with full operation in 2019 and when completed, the port will be ranked as one the deepest sea ports in Africa particularly in the Sub-Saharan Africa given that it has a deepened length of 16.5m. The port will also be capable of handling about 10,000 post-Panamax container vessels with a TEUs capacity (Source: constructionreviewonline)
- Tanzania unveiled the Mwambani Port and Railway Corridor (Mwaporc) expected to join the Tanzania-Zambia Railway Corridor (Tazara) and Central Corridors in opening up the northern region. It is larger than the envisioned Lamu Port South Sudan Ethiopia Transport (Lapsset). Mwaporc project has recently received US$27bn by a private firm, Brookwoods Capital (Source: constructionreviewonline)
- Uganda is also investing US$3b in a Bukasa Port project, an inland port expected to link to Musoma in Tanzania by water and to Port of Tanga by rail(Source: constructionreviewonline)
- The Nigerian government have approved the dredging of five sea ports channels in the country to enable them accommodate bigger vessels. The five sea ports include Calabar, Lekki and Badagry, Ege, Olokola and Ibaka. (Source: constructionreviewonline)
- Competition for the position of preferred maritime gateway in East Africa has pitted Dar es Salaam Port in Tanzania against the Mombasa port in Kenya. Congestion at the Mombasa Port has at times caused some shippers to go to Dar es Salaam Port which is now unfortunately congested and is not efficient due to clearing issues at the custom (Source: constructionreviewonline)