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Challenges of Pan-African trade " infrastructure".

Today, the combined effects of health, security, financial, and climate crises are so complex that it is very risky to make predictions about what will happen. Like many countries, the African continent has been hard hit and only a proactive approach to this “multi-crisis/multifaceted” would allow States to mitigate the impact on their population.

September 1, 2023
3 Min read

Image credit © by, Taxi-Park in Kampala, Uganda

ZLECA ZLEC or Zlecaf infrastructure Pan-Africanism African renaissance Africa PIDA ROT

The conflict in Ukraine has caused food shortages and soaring prices around the world, underscoring the fragility of modern supply chains. There has never been a better time for Africa to increase its agricultural production capacities and its exports.

Africa, like other regions of the world, today presents a dynamic picture full of contrasts where progress is apparent but also challenges. The African continent reached 1.34 billion people in 2020 and this figure could double again by 2050. This burgeoning population has needs that can only be met through economic growth and strong intra-African economic ties in terms of trade, financial, social, and productive development. Unfortunately, obsolete or non-existent infrastructures hinder this development. Today, only 38% of the African population has access to electricity, less than 10% is connected to the Internet and only 25% of the African road network is paved.

Image credit © by, Yaba area. Lagos, Nigeria, West Africa.

To address these challenges, African Heads of State and Government adopted in January 2012, the Program for Infrastructure Development in Africa (PIDA), which constitutes the continental infrastructure policy framework to be implemented until 2040. PIDA is a program of continent-wide infrastructure projects for the development of priority regional and continental infrastructure in the transport, energy, transboundary water resources (ROT) and ICT sectors. This future infrastructure priority program for Africa, through the formulation and planning of PIDA-PAP 2, advocates the "Corridors" approach, an integrated and multi-sectoral approach, geared towards employment, gender-sensitive and climate-friendly and which connects urban and industrial centers to rural and cross-border areas.

Image credit © by, South Africa, Gauteng Province, Johannesburg, aerial view of Buccleuch interchange.

The importance of regional integration to support Africa's economic development has long been recognized by the continent's leaders, who have consistently expressed their desire to build a common market for goods and services. In this regard, 52 out of 55 countries signed in Niger in July 2019, an “African Continental Free Trade Area (ZLECA, ZLEC or Zlecaf)” agreement, which is one of the main priorities of Agenda 2063 with the objective of transforming Africa into a global power of the future aimed at achieving inclusive and sustainable development within the framework of Pan-Africanism and African renaissance. One of the priorities is the immediate implementation of strategies to close the infrastructure gap on the continent.

Without adequate infrastructure, intra-African trade is and will be impacted from a productivity perspective by increasing production and trade costs, reducing business competitiveness and the ability of governments to pursue inclusive economic and social development policies.

Africa, to become a key player on the world stage, will have to aim for continental and regional integration, democratic governance and peace and security throughout the continent.


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Avec plus de 30 ans d'expérience en affaires sur le continent nord-américain ainsi qu'en Europe et maintenant au Moyen-Orient et en Afrique, Leclerc Consulting Group fournit des services de Conseil intégrés en Gestion de Contrats, Gestion de Projets de Produits, Chaîne d'Approvisionnement, Gestion des Technologies de l'Information et Digitalisation, Logistique & Transport, Transformation Organisationnelle, Gestion de Chantier et de Construction et enfin en Gestion du Capital Humain.

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