The Capacity Development Officer of the new Partnership for Africa’s Development (Nepad), Bob Kalanzi has revealed that Africa lacks adequate infrastructure that hinders regional trade and the delivery of basic services such as health and education.
Kalanzi said infrastructure was Africa’s top priority and that the continent has suffered from low levels of intra-regional economic exchange and had the smallest share of global trade.
“Bridging this gap can only be achieved through [greater] regional and continental cooperation, which could be achieved through support from the New Development Bank (NDB),” he said.
He pointed out that infrastructure development in Africa must be prioritised to achieve the accelerated industrial development of the continent.
The African Union’s (AU’s) Agenda 2063 plans to propel intra-African trade to 50% by 2045 and Africa’s share of global trade from 2% to 12%.
Kalanzi also added that infrastructure had the potential to raise gross domestic product by 2% and develop the backbone for rapid industrialisation across the continent, boosting capacity to generate more domestic resources.
“The NDB signifies developing countries’ coming of age and reflects their aspirations to stand on their own feet. It also focuses on funding sustainable development and infrastructure in member nations, as well as other emerging and developing countries,” he said.