Opportunity in the Cracks of African Infrastructure

All of the top 10 fastest growing countries by population are in Africa. The UN projects Africa will add 490 million people by 2030, and another 700 million people between 2030 and 2050. Many of the new Africans will be concentrated in a few large countries such as Nigeria, Ethiopia, and Tanzania, where the strain on infrastructure will be the most acute.

But there is already exponential demand for basic infrastructure services like energy transport and water from African consumers, but access remains poor and the region is failing to keep up.

Almost a third of sub-Saharan Africans don't have access to a reliable clean water source and less than 3 out of 10 people in the region have access to a proper toilet.

There is also a huge inequality of access between urban and rural areas. For example, across Africa, average electricity access is about 72% in urban areas, which is more than double the figure in rural ones.

The African Development Bank estimates that Africa's annual infrastructure funding deficit is somewhere between $110 and $170 billion up to 2025. On top of the total cost, it will take an extra $35 to $50 billion to provide 100% urban electrification and 95% rural electrification. And on top of that, a further $60 billion to achieve 100% access to water supplies and sanitation, and yet another $40 billion to achieve a 20% increase air rail and port capacity.

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