Recent Economic Development in Infrastructure

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The Regional Balkans Infrastructure Study Update: Enhancing Regional Connectivity, Identifying Impediments and Priority Remedies

2015-09-01, World Bank

In an effort to further develop the South East Europe transport observatory (SEETO) comprehensive network, integrate it in the European Union’s (EU) Trans-European transport (TEN-T) network and strengthen the underlying transport planning systems, a grant was awarded by the Western Balkans infrastructure framework (WBIF) for the update of the regional Balkans infrastructure study (REBIS). The motivation for the update was the fact that since the completion of REBIS in 2003, there had been no review or update of the study’s projections and recommendations that will in turn enable an informed assessment and updating of the regional priorities for investment in the SEETO comprehensive network. The main objective of the REBIS update was to develop a priority action plan for enhancing the efficiency of the SEETO comprehensive network. The action plan identifies priority physical investments as well as non-physical improvements including regulatory, institutional, and managerial changes required to reduce impediments to the efficient performance of the network. The focus of the final report is the assessment of the 2030 traffic projections under low and moderate and moderate and high economic growth scenarios against the capacity of the network under the do-nothing scenario and the full SEETO scenario and on the development of the priority action plan. The report is organized as follows: section one gives introduction .Section two presents a brief assessment of the 2003 REBIS traffic projections against reported counts. Section three presents key non-physical impediments to transport and trade facilitation, as well as the costs and benefits associated with their alleviation. Section four presents the 2030 traffic projections for both the low and moderate and moderate and high economic growth scenarios. Section five presents the results of the capacity assessment of the existing and planned networks to handle the projected traffic. Section six presents the methodology used in the preliminary economic efficiency analysis for assessing the physical interventions and the results, while section seven presents the priority action plan. Section eight provides concluding comments.

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Niger's Infrastructure: A Continental Perspective

2011-05-01, Domínguez-Torres, Carolina, Foster, Vivien

Between 2000 and 2005 infrastructure made a net contribution of only 0.3 percentage points to the improved per capita growth performance of Niger, one of the lowest in Sub-Saharan Africa. Raising the country's infrastructure endowment to that of the region's middle-income countries (MICs) could boost annual growth by about 4.5 percentage points, mainly by improving the condition of the road network. Niger has made significant progress in some areas of its infrastructure. Important reforms liberalizing the water supply and information and communication technology (ICT) sectors have boosted performance. In particular, reforms in urban water are among the most promising on the continent. Increased competition in the ICT market has contributed to the rapid expansion of mobile services. NIGELEC, the national power utility, has enhanced its performance. The Nigerien portions of regional corridors are in relatively good or fair condition. Air transport connectivity has improved. Niger has the potential to close this funding gap by tapping alternate sources of financing or adopting lower-cost technologies. There is plenty of room for private sector participation in Niger's infrastructure sectors, in particular ICT. Meanwhile, the adoption of alternate lower-cost technologies in the water supply, power, and road sectors would reduce the financing gap by almost a half ($219 million).

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Ethiopia's Infrastructure: A Continental Perspective

2010-03, Foster, Vivien, Morella, Elvira

Infrastructure contributed 0.6 percentage points to Ethiopia's annual per capita gross domestic product (GDP) growth over the last decade. Raising the country's infrastructure endowment level to that of the region's middle-income countries could lift annual growth by an additional 3 percentage points. This will represent a significant boost over the growth performance of the mid-2000s, which averaged around 5 percent. The Africa Infrastructure Country Diagnostic (AICD) has collected and analyzed extensive infrastructure data for more than 40 Sub-Saharan countries, including Ethiopia. The results are presented in reports on various infrastructure sectors Information and Communication Technologies (ICT), irrigation, power, transport, water and sanitation and policy areas, including investment needs, fiscal costs, and sector performance. This country report presents the key AICD findings for Ethiopia. This will allow its infrastructure situation to be benchmarked against that of other African nations that, like Ethiopia, are low-income countries, with particular emphasis on immediate regional neighbors in East Africa. Several methodological issues should be borne in mind. First, the cross country nature of the data collection creates an inevitable time lag. The period covered by the AICD runs from 2001 to 2006. Most technical data are presented for 2006 (or the most recent year available), while financial data typically are averaged over the available period to smooth out the effect of short term fluctuations. Second, cross country comparisons require standardization of the indicators and the analysis to ensure consistency. Therefore, some of the indicators may be slightly different from those that are routinely reported and discussed at the country level. During the 2000s, Ethiopia's annual economic growth has averaged 4.8 percent, compared with only 0.5 percent in the previous decade. Notwithstanding this improvement, current annual growth levels still fall short of the sustained 7 percent needed to meet the Millennium Development Goals. Improved structural and stabilization policies generated an estimated 4.2 percent of Ethiopia's improved per capita growth performance during the 2000s, and improvements in the country's infrastructure platform over that period contributed up to 0.6 percentage points to growth. This was due almost entirely to the introduction of mobile telephony in Ethiopia. Simulations suggest that if Ethiopia's infrastructure platform could be improved to the level of the African leader, Mauritius, annual per capita growth rates could increase by 3.8 percent. This potential impact would come equally from improvements to transport, power, and ICT infrastructure.

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Côte d’Ivoire’s Infrastructure: A Continental Perspective

2010-03, Foster, Vivien

This study is a product of the Africa Infrastructure Country Diagnostic (AICD), a project designed to expand the world's knowledge of physical infrastructure in Africa. Infrastructure contributed 1.8 percentage points to Cote d'Ivoire's annual per capita Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth in the mid-2000. Raising the country's infrastructure endowment to that of the region's middle-income countries could boost annual growth by a further two percentage points per capita. Cote d'Ivoire made major strides with respect to infrastructure during the 1990s. As a result, the country has broad-reaching national backbones in the road, energy, and Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) sectors, and relatively high levels of household coverage for utility services. However, much ground was lost to conflict in the mid-2000s. Very little investment has taken place in the last fifteen years, leading to recent power shortages, the deterioration of the road network, and the deceleration of progress on safe water access. Cote d'Ivoire's most pressing challenge will be to regain the financial equilibrium needed to restore a reliable energy supply. Reestablishing the prominence of Abidjan's port will require investments in terminal capacity, as well as road and rail infrastructure upgrades on hinterland linkages. The underfunding of road maintenance must also be addressed. Another challenge lies in sanitation, as it is currently unlikely that the country will meet the associated millennium development goal. This report presents the key AICD findings for Cote d'Ivoire, allowing the country's infrastructure situation to be benchmarked against that of its African peers. A social and economic crisis in Cote d'Ivoire has crippled its growth trajectory, which had been that of a middle-income country. It will therefore be compared to low-income countries (fragile and non-fragile groups) and middle-income countries, as well as immediate regional neighbors in West Africa. The study presented several methodological issues.

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Benin's Infrastructure: A Continental Perspective

2011-06, Dominguez-Torres, Carolina, Foster, Vivien

Between 2000 and 2005 infrastructure made an important contribution of 1.6 percentage point to Benin's improved per capita growth performance, which was the highest among West African countries during the period. Raising the country's infrastructure endowment to that of the region's middle-income countries could boost annual growth by about 3.2 percentage points. Benin has made significant progress in some areas of its infrastructure. The rural road network is in relatively good condition, and about 30 percent of the rural population has access to an all-season road, a level above the country's peers. Air transport connectivity has improved. Also, important market liberalization reforms designed to attract private capital to the water and information and communications technology (ICT) sectors have boosted performance. In particular, increased competition in the ICT market has contributed to the rapid expansion of mobile and Internet services. Addressing Benin's infrastructure challenges will require sustained expenditures of $712 million per year over the next decade, with heavy emphasis on capital expenditure. Almost half of the total relates to the transport sector. At 16.6 percent of Benin's 2005 gross domestic product (GDP), this effort is almost at the level of other Sub-Saharan African countries. Benin already spends around $452 million per year on infrastructure, equivalent to about 10.5 percent of its GDP. Almost $101 million a year is lost to inefficiencies of various kinds, associated mainly with under pricing in the power and water sectors; poor financial management of utilities; and inefficient allocation of resources across sectors. If Benin could raise tariffs to cost-recovery levels, and reduce operational inefficiencies in line with reasonable developing-country benchmarks, it could substantially boost flows to the infrastructure sectors. Comparing spending needs with existing spending and potential efficiency gains (and assuming that the inefficiencies are fully captured) leaves an annual funding gap of $210 million per year. By far the largest share of the gap can be traced to the water supply and sanitation sectors. Benin has the potential to close this gap by adopting alternative technologies in water supply, transport and power. Savings from alternative technologies could amount to as much as $227 million per year.

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Nigeria's Infrastructure: A Continental Perspective

2011-02, Foster, Vivien

Infrastructure has made a net contribution of around one percentage point to Nigeria's improved per capita growth performance in recent years, in spite of the fact that unreliable power supply held growth back. Raising the country's infrastructure endowment to that of the region's middle-income countries could boost annual growth by around four percentage points. Nigeria has made important strides toward improving much of its infrastructure. Compared to many African peers, Nigeria has relatively advanced power, road, rail, and information and communications technology (ICT) networks that cover extensive areas of the nation's territory. In recent years, Nigeria has conducted several important infrastructure sector reforms. The ports sector has been converted to a landlord model, and terminal concessions now attract private investment on a scale unprecedented for Africa. The power sector is undergoing a restructuring, paving the way for performance improvements; the sector is finally on a path toward raising tariffs to recover a larger share of costs. Bold liberalization measures in the ICT sector have resulted in widespread, low-cost mobile services, Africa's most vibrant fixed-line sector, and major private investments in the development of a national fiber-optic backbone. A burgeoning domestic air transport sector has emerged, with strong private carriers that have rapidly attained regional significance.

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Malawi's Infrastructure: A Continental Perspective

2010-03, Foster, Vivien

Infrastructure contributed 1.2 percentage points to the annual per capita growth of Malawi's gross domestic product (GDP) over the past decade, thanks mainly to the revolution in information and communication technology (ICT). Raising the country's infrastructure endowment to that of the region's middle-income countries could further boost annual growth by 3.5 percentage points per capita. Today, Malawi's basic infrastructure indicators look relatively good when compared with other low-income countries in Africa, although the performance of that infrastructure could be significantly improved. Malawi is one of the few African countries to have already reached the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) for water, almost a decade ahead of the target. The private sector has made Global Management System (GSM) telephone signals widely available without public subsidy. A substantial road investment program has raised the average condition of the country's road network, and a foundation for institutional reform has been laid in the ICT, power, and road transport sectors. Even if those inefficiencies could be eliminated, Malawi will still face an infrastructure funding gap of almost $300 million a year. This could be lessened to $100 million by engaging in regional trade of electricity, using lower-cost supply modalities in water supply and sanitation, and adopting appropriate technologies for road sector development. As long as efficiency gains are captured and spending sustained at the levels of the recent past, the country's infrastructure targets could be reached within 16 years.

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Cameroon's Infrastructure: A Continental Perspective

2011-06, Dominguez-Torres, Carolina, Foster, Vivien

Better access to improved infrastructure services is an important engine for economic growth. The poor state of infrastructure is a key bottleneck to growth in African countries, and Cameroon is no exception. Between 2000 and 2005, improvements in information and communication technologies boosted Cameroon's growth performance by 1.26 percentage points per capita, while deficient power infrastructure held growth back by 0.28 percentage points. If Cameroon could improve its infrastructure to the level of the middle-income countries of Africa, the growth effect could be on the order of 3.3 percentage points. Cameroon has made significant progress in many aspects of infrastructure. Across a broad range of sectors, the country has made serious efforts to implement institutional reforms with a view to attracting private sector investment. Private sector concessions have been awarded for the Port of Douala, the CAMRAIL railway, the national power utility, and the national water utility (CDE). These arrangements have generally led to performance improvements and attracted significant volumes of finance. Power supply remains expensive and unreliable. Cameroon needs to accelerate the development of some of its prime hydropower sites, which would greatly improve the domestic power situation and potentially allow Cameroon to play its natural role as hydropower exporter to the Central African Power Pool. Cameroon's information and communication technology (ICT) reform remains frozen at an early stage. The telecom incumbent, CAMTEL, remains state-owned and receives substantial public subsidy. The mobile sector is relatively uncompetitive, operating as a duopoly. Moreover, while Cameroon enjoys access to a submarine cable, CAMTEL's monopoly control over the international gateway has prevented consumers from benefiting.

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Cape Verde's Infrastructure: A Continental Perspective

2010-08, Briceno-Garmendia, Cecilia M., Benitez, Daniel Alberto

The Africa Infrastructure Country Diagnostic (AICD) has gathered and analyzed extensive data on infrastructure in more than 40 Sub-Saharan countries, including Cape Verde. The results have been presented in reports covering several sectors—ICT, irrigation, power, transport, water and sanitation— and various policy areas, including investment needs, fiscal costs, and sector performance. This report presents the key AICD findings for Cape Verde, allowing the country’s infrastructure situation to be benchmarked against that of its African peers. Given that Cape Verde is a relatively well- off middle-income country, its performance will be benchmarked against that of other middle-income countries in Africa. Detailed comparisons will also be made with immediate regional neighbors in the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), and where relevant, with other island states that face a similar set of infrastructure challenges.

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Zambia's Infrastructure: A Continental Perspective

2010-03, Foster, Vivien

Infrastructure improvements contributed 0.6 percentage points to the annual per capita growth of Zambia's gross domestic product (GDP) over the past decade, mostly because of the exponential growth of information and communication technology (ICT) services. Poor performance of the power sector reduced the per capita growth rate by 0.1 percentage point. Simulations suggest that if Zambia's infrastructure platform could be improved to the level of the African leader, Mauritius, per capita growth rates could increase by two percentage points per year. Zambia's high generation capacity and relatively high power consumption are accompanied by fewer power outages than its neighbors. But Zambia's power sector is primarily oriented toward the mining industry, while household electrification, at 20 percent, is about half that in other resource-rich countries. Zambia's power tariffs are among the lowest in Africa and are less than half the level needed to accelerate electrification and keep pace with mining sector demands. Meeting future power demands and raising electrification rates will be difficult without increasing power tariffs. Zambia's infrastructure situation is more hopeful than that of many other African countries. Infrastructure spending needs, though large, are not beyond the realm of possibility, and Zambia's resource wealth and relatively well-off population provide a more solid financing basis than is available to many other countries. Zambia's infrastructure funding gap, though substantial, can be dramatically reduced through measures to stem inefficiencies and lower costs.