../Morning Post
Posted November 13, 2009
____________________
Emerging Economies

Africa Faces $93 Billion Annual Infrastructure Bill.

"Africa needs $93 billion annually over the next decade to transform its weak infrastructure - more than twice previously thought, a new World Bank study said Wednesday.... The report, titled Africa's infrastructure: A time for transformation, found that the continent had the world's weakest infrastructure but ironically Africans in some nations paid twice as much for basic services as people elsewhere...." [Agence France Presse/Factiva]

Dow Jones reports that "...the shortfall is daunting for the region, representing a need to spend an additional up to 25 percent of gross domestic product for some countries. Resource-rich countries, including Nigeria and Zambia, face a funding gap of about 4 percent of GDP, the study of 24 countries said. 'Modern infrastructure is the backbone of an economy and the lack of it inhibits economic growth,' said World Bank President for Africa Obiageli Ezekwesili, adding that investing more funds without tackling inefficiencies would be like pouring water into a leaking bucket...." [Dow Jones/Factiva]

Reuters adds that "...despite the gulf between its target figure and the $45 billion spent now, the report said governments could narrow the funding gap to $31 billion by making $17 billion in relatively simple efficiency gains, such as making more electricity users pay their bills.... If all sub-Saharan Africa's 48 countries caught up with Mauritius, which leads the region in infrastructure terms, overall growth would rise by 2.2 percentage points, it added. 'In most African countries, particularly the lower-income countries, infrastructure emerges as a major constraint on doing business, depressing firm productivity by about 40 percent.'...." [Reuters/Factiva]

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