African infrastructure investments 'could help trade'
26 June 2009
There is a need for regional infrastructure investments in Africa, a report has asserted.
A publication by the United Nations - titled Economic Development in Africa 2009: Strengthening Regional Economic Integration for Africa's Development - outlined how recent growth in the continent is currently threatened by a fall in exports.
Supachai Panitchpakdi, secretary general of the UN conference on trade and development, explained if more money was put into regional infrastructures, it could benefit trade by three times the current rate.
Customs, tariffs and border delays were also areas that needed to be addressed to improve the market, he added.
"Investments on a regional basis could enable large regional projects in the area of agricultural development, water management, infrastructure and intra-state transportation," Mr Panitchpakdi stated.
He further noted recent investments from Asia had helped Africa develop information and communication technology, as well as transportation.
Meanwhile, Russian company Gazprom has signed an agreement with the Nigerian state-operated NNPC to form a new energy company called Nigaz.