Project Insight - African Transport Networks

Project Insight - African Transport Networks


GlobalData is tracking 448 large-scale transport projects (road, rail and bridges) across Africa at all stages of development from announcement to execution with a total investment value of US$430.3 billion. Nigeria, with 49 projects, has the highest number of transport projects in the project pipeline, amounting to US$48.3 billion, while Egypt, with 20 transport projects, has the highest value in the pipeline, amounting to US$52.9 billion

Economic growth in the Africa region remains high, particularly in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA), which has some of the fastest growing economies in the world. The International Monetary Fund (IMF) and African Development Bank (AfDB) have both predicted that Africa’s overall growth will improve in 2019 and 2020. However, the region’s growth prospects continue to be constrained by a lack of infrastructure to support the expansion in trade, both within the region and externally. Closing the infrastructure quantity and quality gap relative to the best performers in the world could increase growth of GDP per capita by 2.6% per year. Potential growth benefits would come from closing the gap in the transport sector.

GlobalData is tracking 448 large-scale transport projects (road, rail and bridges) across Africa at all stages of development, from announcement to execution, with a total investment value of US$430.3 billion. Nigeria, with 49 projects, has the highest number of transport projects in the project pipeline, amounting to US$48.3 billion, while Egypt, with 20 transport projects, has the highest value in the pipeline, amounting to US$52.9 billion, followed by Algeria (30 projects valued at US$37.9 billion), Kenya (27 projects valued at US$31.8 billion), Tunisia (nine projects valued at US$21.2 billion) and Tanzania (20 projects valued at US$16.7 billion). Investment rates in transport infrastructure have been increasing, thanks to major continental initiatives such as Programme for Infrastructure Development in Africa (PIDA) for mobilizing resources to transform Africa through modern infrastructure.

When completed in their entirety, the tracked projects will total over 110,000km in length (54,110km for roads, 55,345km for railway and 599km for bridges) of which 75,297km will be newly constructed, 29,197km will be upgraded and 5,561km will have an element of both construction and upgrade, crisscrossing the African continent.

Across the region, governments have paved the way for public private partnerships (PPPs) to fund a large proportion of projects in the pipeline. In total, 52.4% of the total project pipeline by value is being publicly driven by African governments allocating funds for constructing new roads and repairing existing ones, whereas 33.3% of the total project pipeline is funded by various joint financing arrangements between the public and private sector. China has made numerous investments across Africa to support its need for resources becoming a major financier of key transport projects in the region. At least five African countries have had their railway systems funded by China: Kenya, Ethiopia, Angola, Djibouti and Nigeria.

Based on the pipeline of projects tracked by GlobalData, Chinese contractors are involved in road and railway projects that account for 21.3% of the overall project pipeline value. Other main foreign contractors are headquartered in France (accounting for 17.7%), Turkey (accounting for 8.2%) and the UK (accounting for 3.4%). Through various subsidiaries, the China Railway Construction Corporation Ltd holds a leading position in terms of Chinese involvement in the project pipeline. In total, the company has been or remains involved in projects that have a total construction value of close to US$47.3 billion; it is followed by Power Construction Corporation of China (US$12.18 billion) and China Communications Construction Corporation (US$9.4 billion).

The March 2018 agreement to establish the African Continental Free Trade Area is a game changer in the continent’s ambition to boost intra-African trade and spur economic development. On May 30th, 2019, 22 African countries ratified the agreement, with Nigeria - Africa’s largest and most populous economy - close to signing the agreement. This landmark agreement embraces more than a billion people and a collective GDP of over US$2 trillion, and includes most of Africa’s largest economies, including South Africa and Egypt. Future freight transport demand in Africa is tied to growth in international trade, which is expected to grow sevenfold to 3.6 billion metric tons over the next 30 years, as countries increase the value added of their exports through processing, consumers with rising incomes import more expensive goods, and manufacturing and mining businesses import more expensive processing equipment. With this emphasis on regional integration, African governments continue to think beyond development within border lines. This has placed the focus on the development of regional economic corridors, interlinking highways, railways and ports in the region, hence providing connectivity between international, national and rural networks. Tracking nine major corridors with 26 roads and railways that are being proposed or are underway with a combined value of US$93.1 billion have a variety of proponents, including national governments, donors and private lenders.


  • This report focuses on the transport sector in Africa, particularly road and railway, their current scenario and the vast potential for development as well as sizeable construction project pipelines.
Reasons to buy
  • Gain insight into the key transport construction projects in Africa by construction sector (road, bridge, and railway), and stage.
  • Assess the current situation of road and railway in Africa and construction investment in those sectors and financing methods.
  • Understand the maintrends driving overall construction growth.
  • Identify top projects by sector, leading contractors and development stage to better understand the competitive environment and inform your expansion strategy.

  • Executive Summary
  • Africa's economic growth and infrastructure inadequacy
    • Table figure 1: Sub Sahara Africa (SSA) Economic and Population Growth (2006-2017)
    • Table figure 2:Top 10 African Fastest Growing Economies in 2019 (Government Debt and Economic Growth)
    • Growth potential in the longer term
      • Table Projections of Population and GDP in Africa (2010-2040)
      • Table Africa's Global Trade (US$ billion)
      • Table figure 3: Time and Cost to Export and Import in SSA Compared to other Regions
      • Table figure 4: Regional Comparison of Logistics Performance Index and its Determinants
  • Current state of road and rail transport infrastructure in Africa
    • Table figure 5: World Economic Forum Global Competitive Index (Infrastrucutre Quality, Score 1 to 100)
    • Road
      • Table figure 6: World Economic Forum Global Competitive Index (Road Quality, Value 1 to 7)
      • Table Paved Roads in Selected African Cities (Meters per 1,000 Population)
      • Table Current Road Network in SSA
    • Rail
      • Table figure 7: World Economic Forum Global Competitive Index (Efficiency of Train Services, value 1 to 7)
  • Investment in Africa's transport infrastructure
    • Table Top 10 Countries with the Highest Transport Projects Pipelines (by US$)
    • Table figure 8: Transport Infrastructure Projects Pipeline, by Stage (US$ million)
    • Table figure 9: Transport Infrastructure Projects Pipeline by Length (Km) and Completion Year
    • Table figure 10: Transport Infrastructure Projects Pipeline, by Funding Mode (% of Total Pipeline Value)
    • Table figure 11: Transport Infrastructure Spending (US$ million) based on the Current Project Pipeline
    • Table figure 12: Railway Projects Pipeline, Projected Annual Spending Value by Project (US$ million)
    • Table Key Road and Rail Developments in the Pipeline
    • Development of transport corridors in Africa
      • Table Trade Forecasts by Region (Millions of Metric Tons)
      • Table figure 13: Trans African Highway (TAH) Network Map
      • Table Key Transport Corridors in Africa
      • Table Tracked Roads and Railways Projects Linked to the Major Corridors in the Pipeline
      • One stop border border posts to strengthen cross border trade
        • Table Key Corridor Development Projects in the Pipeline
  • Main contractors in Africa's infrastructure
    • Table Market Shares of Top 250 International Contractors in Africa (2004-2017) (US$ million)
    • Table figure 14: International Contractors by Origin: Market Shares % in Africa (2004-2017)
    • Table figure 15: Value of Key Chinese Contracts in Railway Sector (2005-2018) (US$ million)
    • Table figure 16: Largest Chinese Companies Investing in SSA Transport Projects
    • Key Operators
      • Table Key Contractors, Value of Projects (US$)
  • About GlobalData
    • GlobalData at a Glance
      • Table figure 17: GlobalData at a Glance
    • GlobalData Construction
    • Disclaimer
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