The poor state of much of Africa’s transport network (roads, railways, airports and water transport) is holding many countries back from competing effectively on the global market. A reliable African transport network is critical for moving goods and accessing markets. Unfortunately intra-African trade stands at less than 10% of all African GDP -- and Africa’s share of world trade is only 2%.
An early ICA-funded study identified four key challenges in Africa Transportation:
- Poor linkages among transport modes in Africa cause long delays and raise costs in the movement of international freight.
- Logistical services are in their infancy in Africa, and their development is impeded by a wide array of administrative, regulatory, and governance barriers.
- Landlocked countries are the most affected by these issues – hence the growing movement toward regional collaboration to facilitate trade along key transport corridors.
- Improving the efficiency of transport services calls for a liberalised transportation market that extends a greater role to the private sector.
(Source: AICD - Africa’s Infrastructure: A Time for Transformation)
To improve the African trade statistics, and to bring much-needed roads, better airports and water transportation systems to Africa, there must be the political will to build, manage and maintain a sustainable transportation infrastructure in Africa. This is exactly where The Infrastructure Consortium for Africa (ICA) adds value. Through our convening power, and in close coordination with PIDA, the ICA has been able to secure commitments to transformational transport infrastructure projects throughout Africa
About the ICA Transport Platform
The ICA Strategic Business Plan (2010-2012) encouraged greater involvement of ICA members in sector-related activities. It proposed ‘sector ownership’, whereby an ICA member could champion assignments and provide leadership, benefitting from ICA’s 'convening power' and base within an African institution.
The ICA Transport Sector Platform was launched in 2010 and led by the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) and the European Investment Bank (EIB). Under the ICA Transport platform umbrella, JICA activities focus on facilitating One-Stop Border Posts via development of the OSBP Sourcebook and Sensitization Workshops, while the European Investment Bank promotes Port and Airport development through Public-Private Partnerships.
ICA Transport Platform Objectives
- Facilitate effective dialogue between African partners and development partners,
- Coordinate development partners to make their interventions even more effective, and
- Deepen transport infrastructure knowledge sharing among African partners and development partners via the One-Stop Border Post Source Book, workshops, Port and Airport PPP Study, and support of ICA Knowledge Center.
With these objectives in mind, The ICA uses its’ convening power and to develop meaningful knowledge products that lay the platform for potentially bankable projects. For example, in the fall of 2013, the ICA and the European Investment Bank (EIB) started work on an Africa Aviation Services Study. The main objective of the study is to identify, address and propose solutions to the barriers for expanding effective aviation services across Africa – and review and assess the African Open Skies/ Yamoussoukro Decision and further refine the recommendations on the West and Central African Air Transport Hubs.
Transport Investment Picture – Latest Figures from 2012
Analysis of ICA member funding for transport across the 2008-2012 time period shows a mixed performance (as indicated in Figure 71). Performance in some regions gives cause for concern. Central Africa – much of which is land-locked – received $347m in 2012, compared with $1bn in 2012.
With the exception of 2011 – when Central and Eastern Africa received the highest share of investment (27% each) – Central Africa has always attracted the lowest portion of transport investment.
Eastern Africa consistently received a high proportion of transport investment. Even considering a decline in investment (down 52%) in 2012, which levelled off in 2011 before surging in 2012to $2.1bn, the region has generally attracted a high percentage of ICA members’ investment.
North Africa received the largest investment in volume terms between 2008-2012 – at around $7.7bn. This was most evident in 2010 when North Africa attracted almost 41% of the ICA member total investments. Unfortunately, the regional geo-political tensions in 2011 caused a sharp decline in investments – however, 2012 investments showed improvement, with North African transport investments increasing to $1.6bn.
The ICA funded the African Infrastructure Country Diagnostic (AICD), a comprehensive World Bank study to assess the magnitude of Africa’s infrastructure needs. The 2009 AICD Flagship report Africa's Infrastructure: A Time for Transformation revealed many important transport challenges for Africa. This Flagship study and all the knowledge tools associated with it provided the platform for the AIKP, (African Infrastructure Knowledge Programme) an African Development Bank managed initiative that aims to build on the work of the AICD by collecting relevant statistics about infrastructure in Africa.
Source: ICA. For more detailed information and the latest figures on transport in Africa, consult the 2012 Annual Report, Infrastructure Financing Trends in Africa
For more information about specific ICA Transport Platform activities, please visit ICA News/Transport