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Road Transport – New Report by the AfDB

The cost of transportation in Africa is on average 50 – 175%  higher than other parts of the world as a result of poor infrastructure. Between 60,000km to 100,000km of new roads are required to provide effective intracontinental connectivity in Africa by 2030. The current pace of infrastructure development in Africa cannot keep up with rising demand from communities and markets, which impacts on Africa’s competitiveness and participation in global markets. The poor state of infrastructure has led to the reduction of national economic growth by 2% annually in most African countries and as much as 40% reduction in industrial productivity.

A report by Africa Development Bank ( notes that while roads are the primary mode of transport, carrying 80% of goods and 90% of passenger traffic, just 53% are paved and only 43% of Africa’s main population have access to an all-season road. The Report notes that Africa’s significant road infrastructure deficit creates increased production and transaction costs that must be addressed to scale opportunities envisaged under the Africa Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA).

Meanwhile, the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) Commission has complained that the over 57 checkpoints on the Badagry-Seme expressway of the Lagos- Abidjan corridor are frustrating intra-African trade. The Nigerian Shippers’ Council (NSC) noted that more than 400 trade obstacles have been reported along the trade corridor. These trade barriers include lengthy clearing terms, transit checkpoints with unwarranted delays, harassment, exorbitant illegal fees, and demands for bribes. The NSC, however, is hopeful that more than 49% of these barriers are being effectively addressed by national focal point representatives, supported by advisory services from the International Trade Centre.


Alastair Tempest

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