Transportation in Africa
This week the Economist paints a somewhat optimistic future about transportation in Africa. Mind you most of the optimism comes from plans by African governments to build transportation infrastructure that will spur economic growth. For example Ghana has apparently signed a $6 billion contract to link the South and North of the country by rail. As most Ghanaians will attest to, fresh tomato prices in the South and in the Capital are prohibitive. This may of course change, if and when tomato producing areas in the North can get their produce to more affluent markets in the capital or south early and relaibly enough.
This is an excerpt from the article:
Transport is a perpetual problem in Africa. Potholed roads and missing rail links get in the way of economic growth. Intra-regional trade accounts for just 13% of total commerce, compared with 53% in emerging Asia. Landlocked countries suffer the most. Transport costs can make up 50-75% of the retail price of goods in Malawi, Rwanda and Uganda. Shipping a car from China to Tanzania on the Indian Ocean coast costs $4,000, but getting it from there to nearby Uganda can cost another $5,000.
Continue at the The Economist
Africa’s Future Looks Bleak?
As obssessive and passionate as we are about issues on the African continent, every so often one comes across perspectives on the continent that as far as I can tell are so far off the mainstream that one starts thinking the writer is simply paranoid.
One such series of articles can be found on the Chycho blog. Perhaps describing the analysis on the blog as flawed may be a little too harsh, but at the very least the writings seem overly suspicious of the West.
The United States, through its recently departed Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton did give us a clue about America’s foreign policy in Africa. See the post – Why the United States of America will start fussing over Africa. We get that…It’s not that unreasonable for the Americans to want to protect their “interests” in the face of what they perceive as Chinese competition. What is important is for us – Africans – to decide who we want to get into bed or play Russian roulette with and more importantly to make sure that our interests and the interests of our people come first.
The Chycho blog, admittedly is one that I actually enjoyed reading. I did not buy his conclusions on may of the issues he writes about but it is an engaging and “out there” type of blog that you may want to explore.
An excerpt from an article on the blog is below:
To accomplish this task, the United States has been very busy expanding its military presence on the continent.
As for what the future holds for Africa? The answer should be obvious, more wars as western powers follow up their military operations by trying to secure investment from these newly colonized nations.
Your comments on any of these issues will be appreciated.