Why African Projects Are Worth A Look
We never tire of telling people that our African projects are worth a look. But, our audience usually just rejects our proposition out of hand. The numbers from PIDA (Project for Infrastructure Development of Africa), a project of the African Development Bank, (http://www.afdb.org/fileadmin/uploads/afdb/Documents/Generic-Documents/PIDA%20brief%20financing.pdf), however, tell a story that’s worth listening to:
- Average economic growth rate for African countries will be 6 per cent a year between 2010 and 2040;
- Africa had 51 cities with more than a million residents and two (Cairo and Lagos) with more than 10 million. By 2040 it is expected to have more than 100 cities of more than a million residents and at least seven topping 10 million;
- Over the 30 years to 2040, the GDP of African countries will multiply six-fold, and the average per capita income will rise above US$10,000 for all countries;
- Power demand will increase from 590 terawatt hours (TWh) in 2010, to more than 3,100 TWh in 2040, corresponding to an average annual growth rate of nearly 6 per cent.To keep pace, installed power generation capacity must rise from present levels of 125 GW (comparable to the United Kingdom) to almost 700 GW in 2040;
- Transport volumes will increase six to eight times, with a particularly strong increase of up to 14 times for some landlocked countries. Port throughput will rise from 265 million tonnes in 2009, to more than 2 billion tonnes in 2040;
- Information and communications technology (ICT) demand will swell by a factor of 20 before 2020, as Africa catches up with broadband. Demand, around 300 gigabits per second in 2009, will reach 6,000 gigabits per second by 2018.
This is why we are involved in housing, commercial development, waste management, construction and mining equipment and tourism. It’s just needed. There is money to be made there.
But, we don’t just do it like white colonialists, because we can, for ourselves. No, we do it because by partnering with locals, we accelerate the growth of the new, young, educated middle class. And when they make wealth, we make wealth. And that moves the countries along a continuum to self-sufficiency. We do well by doing good.
The numbers say, “This is the time.”