Africa’s need for infrastructure an opportunity for India

Our Bureau New Delhi | Updated on January 23, 2018 Published on October 28, 2015

Africa needs to accelerate the movement of people and goods, and India should focus on bridging the infrastructure gap in the continent, said Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Ethiopia.

Ghebreyesus was speaking at a session on ‘Collaborating to address Africa’s needs’ at the India Africa Business Forum here on Wednesday.

“Weak infrastructure has resulted in weak trade in Africa,” he said. Ghebreyesus also added that players investing in infrastructure in the continent would be given tax holidays and sops.

“Africa, which was once considered dark and hopeless, is now recognised as the fastest growing continent in terms of GDP growth,” Tom Alweendo, Minister for National Planning, Namibia, said.

The continent needs infrastructure which can steer it towards industrialisation, Alweendo said. “The lack of capital is the reason behind slow infrastructure growth. We realise that we need to raise domestic capital but we also need FDI,” Alweendo added.

Currently, most of the trade in the continent consists of raw materials. If infrastructure improves, finished goods can be traded as well.

S Kuppuswamy, Advisor, Group Finance and Special Projects, Shapoorji Pallonji Group, said that Africa needs to develop its vast coastlines and work towards building pit to port connectivity.

“The continent needs to upgrade its transportation as it is estimated that 54 per cent of its population will move to urban areas by 2020. This needs an investment of about $80 billion,” said Rakesh Gupta, President, AIPS, Hinduja Group.

Published on October 28, 2015
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