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How Africa creates its infrastructures

All civilizations developed around the natural highways that rivers represented. Communication routes are indeed one of the main leverages of economic development, in that they promote trade. No surprise, however, that the countries that have sought to develop have invested heavily even at the cost of human sacrifices, in the communication infrastructure. From the Romans and their apian way to the Italian autostradas of the 1930s through the Trans-American railway, all the economic powers sought to develop the most suitable communication routes for their time.

The basic infrastructure deficit (starting with roads) has long been a major drag on Africa's economic development. But things are finally moving. The projects of great transcontinental links take shape, the tracks are progressively replaced by roads (which remembers today that it took a week and "eat" hundreds of kilometers of sand to connect Tangiers to Morocco to Dakar in Senegal, there is still 10 years?).

So what are the most important infrastructures ? A construction expert in Africa, Hassan Hachem, shares his vision of the challenges posed by infrastructure in Africa. "On a continent where road connections are sorely lacking, ports are the most critical elements, especially for a country that wants to develop its trade with the outside world. Ports are the link to integrate a country into the globalized economy. Without a sufficiently large and deep port, the links of a country with the outside risk to remain insignificant. "

"But the opening to the outside is far from sufficient," said Hassan Hachem. "Once a big port is built, roads are the second most important infrastructure. The existence and quality of roads depend on the ability of a central government to administer the most remote areas as well as the density and frequency of trade necessary for valuing the wealth of each city and region ", says Hassan Hachem.

That being said, the development of port or road infrastructure is based on the stumbling block of any development project: financing. Funding was not up to the requirements until the end of the 1990s. From that date, there were several elements that helped to solve, in part, the financing problems. Lower investment construction costs due to the arrival of Chinese construction companies offering infrastructure at lower costs than European or US companies (although Chinese companies often offer high-cost supplementary services after main market off-hook). Then, the contribution of financing always associated by the Chinese often in the framework of privileged access to the natural resources of the country. Finally, economies ofAfrican countries themselves that are developing and allow greater resources for investment to be made available.

Africa is thus filling, if not falling behind, at least some of its infrastructure needs. Gradually, the conditions of economic development are set up

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