The countries of the African continent are undergoing the fastest and most extensive changes globally. An additional 1,2 bn people will live on the continent by 2040. It is expected that urban concentration trends will require the construction of 130 new cities with populations of 3 million people each. This trend urgently calls for more infrastructure development.
A large percentage of rural areas are not linked to socially and commercially relevant infrastructure. Africa has a paved road density of 31 km per 100 km2, compared to 134 km per 100 km2 in other developing regions and 180 km per 100 km2 in Central Europe. This results in the lowest access levels to power (74 %), water (63 %) and communication (20%) globally. The continent’s financial needs to improve infrastructure access levels amount to USD 130-170 bn annually, with a current financing gap of EUR 68-108 bn.
Africa needs a substantial programme for infrastructure investment and maintenance to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), cope with the impacts of the ongoing climate crisis, and to reduce migration. The goal is to improve the connection of capitals, power and production sites, ports, border crossings and secondary cities with high quality road, water and sanitation networks as well as all-season road access to educational and health facilities.