ADDIS ABABA. — Experts and policymakers have urged African countries to strengthen efforts in the continent’s road development sector as an impetus towards the realisations of sustainable growth in Africa.
Attending the African Road Maintenance Funds Association’s (ARMFA) Annual General Assembly in Ethiopia’s capital Addis Ababa from February 19 to 23, road sector experts and policymakers emphasised the importance of accelerating the continent’s road development sector to realise inclusive growth, with special emphasis to regular road maintenance and road safety measures.
Rashid Mohammed, ARMFA President, told participants of the annual general assembly meeting that scaling up and accelerating road development is vital to realise the pursuit of Africa’s economic growth.
According to Mohammed, poorly maintained and impassable roads are the major challenges that hinder rural farmers in many African countries from realising the fruits of their hard work.
“Africa’s sustainable economic growth is contingent on the development of reliable road infrastructure, coupled with proper maintenance and preservation,” Mohammed said.
Chairman of the International Road Federation (IRF), Kiran Kapila, also stressed the need to work on improving the quality of the continent’s road sector so as to harness the sector’s growth, which could be aligned with Africa’s flagship “Agenda 2063” as outlined by the African Union’s (AU).
According to Kapila, a well-connected network is essential for African countries’ efforts towards a strong economy. He further expressed his belief that by maintaining strong desire and with the ongoing efforts, “Africa can certainly realise its Agenda 2063.”
AU’s flagship Agenda 2063, among other things, emphasised intra-Africa trade and the free movement of people in the continent, which necessitates investment in developing the continent’s current road sector.
According to the Pan African block, the lack of infrastructure in Africa is widely recognised, in which deficits of infrastructure have clear impact on African countries’ competitiveness.
African countries, particularly south of the Sahara, are among the least competitive in the world, and infrastructure appears to be one of the most important factors holding them back, according to AU’s Program Infrastructure Development for Africa (PIDA). – Xinhua