By David Musyoka NAIROBI (Xinhua) --
Sub-Saharan Africa should implement
right policies that make investment in infrastructure more
efficient to help spur economic growth in the region, the World
Bank said on Wednesday.
According to the new
Africa’s Pulse, a biannual analysis of African economies
conducted by the World Bank, if inefficiencies are addressed,
public and private investment in infrastructure could be a
strategic tool for poverty reduction and economic development.
Lead Economist in the Africa Region at the World Bank and author
of the report, said public-private partnerships in Sub-Saharan
Africa remain a very small market, with projects concentrated in
only a few countries, namely, South Africa, Nigeria, Kenya and
“The analysis shows
that the impact of public investment on economic growth can be
improved if countries implement policies that make public
investment more efficient,” Chuhan-Pole said during the launch
of the report in Nairobi.
“There is evidence
that countries with sound public investment management systems
tend to have even more private investment,” she added.
The report says
improving the institutions and procedures governing project
appraisal, selection, and monitoring are among the policies
countries should implement to ensure they have a sound public
The World Bank said
sub-Saharan Africa experienced a slowdown in investment growth
from nearly 8 percent in 2014 to 0.6 percent in 2015, adding
that this sluggish investment has coincided with a sharp
deceleration in economic growth in Africa.
infrastructure is particularly important since the continent
ranks at the bottom of all developing regions in nearly all
dimensions of performance.
The report analyzes
trends in infrastructure quantity, quality and access; explores
the relationship between infrastructure growth and economic
growth in the region; documents stylized facts on public
investment in the region; and examines the quality of
The World Bank said
Sub-Saharan Africa has made great progress in telecommunications
coverage in the past 25 years, expanding at a fast pace across
both low- and middle-income countries in the continent. Access
to safe water has also increased, from 51 percent of the
population in 1990 to 77 percent in 2015.
“But the challenges
that remain are vast and deeply ingrained. For example, little
progress has been made in per capita electricity-generating
capacity in over two decades,” the Pulse says.
Only 35 percent of
the population has access to electricity, with rural access
rates less than one-third urban ones.
infrastructure is likewise lagging with Sub-Saharan Africa being
the only region in the world where road density has declined
over the past 20 years.
The growth effects
of narrowing Sub-Saharan Africa’s infrastructure quantity and
quality gap are potentially large.
For instance, growth
of GDP per capita for the region would increase by an estimated
1.7 percent percentage points per year if it were to close the
gap with the median of the rest of the developing world.
infrastructure quantity and quality gap relative to the best
performers in the world could increase growth of GDP per capita
by 2.6 percent per year,” the report says.
It reveals that the
largest potential growth benefits would come from closing the
gap in electricity-generating capacity.
granular budget data collected by the BOOST initiative for 24
countries in Sub-Saharan Africa, annual public spending on
infrastructure was 2 percent of GDP in 2009-15.
Roads accounted for
two-thirds of overall infrastructure investments in the region.
Capital spending on electricity and water supply and sanitation
each accounted for 15 percent of total capital expenditures.