Infrastructure: The Most Important Enabler of Organic Growth in Africa
While economic growth and diversification can be regarded as the ‘fuel’ for development, infrastructure is the ‘engine’ that powers growth. China’s contribution to Africa in this regard is phenomenal, and this chapter describes a wide range of infrastructural projects that have reduced the ‘bottlenecks’ in infrastructure development. One way this has been financed has been through the adoption of ‘Angola-mode’ framework agreements, essentially a swap agreement of the provision of infrastructure by the Chinese, financed mostly by China’s Exim Bank, in return for oil or mineral resources, or the proceeds of improved manufacturing capacity. The One Belt One Road Chinese initiative that includes a vast road and rail network in Africa is described, with special attention to China’s involvement in the integrated transport infrastructure development in Ethiopia which includes the only urban tram system in Africa and a new railway line linking Addis Ababa to the Port of Djibouti. In addition, the new road network traversing the Lesotho mountain Kingdom and the impact this has made to the well-being of rural communities are considered.
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