Sunday, May 24, 2009

Clearing The Road To Productivity In East Africa!

An occupational hazard for Africa's citizens is that now and again, their heads of state need to drive around their nation's roads. This should not be a bad thing, except that for some reason, the typical African leader prefers to move around in motorcades of a dozen or more large and particularly expensive vehicles.
In kenya, where we do not normally do things by half measures, there are three executive motorcades to contend with-that of the president,(the largest), and those of the vice president and the prime minister. This only adds to the unique challenges of working in a continent increasingly recognized as having some of the most congested urban roads in the world.
What is inescapable however is that Africa has developed a reputation as having some of the worst indicators when it comes to the cost of doing business. In fact, in a running survey carried out by the International Finance Corporation and the World Bank in 2009, Kenya ranked 82nd out of 181 countries in terms of overall cost of doing business;Uganda and Tanzania ranked 111th and 127th respectively while Rwanda and Burundi ranked 139th and 177th. As reference point, South Africa, Nigeria and zimbabwe ranked 32nd, 118th and 158th resectively.
Why does it cost almost 50% more to build standard width tarmac road in Kenya than it does in neighbouring Tanzania? Why is it twice as expensive to build an all-weather road in East Africa than in South Asia?
Read more on The East african. Source: www.theeastafrican.co.ke

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