Global Diary

Africa’s N — Networks

What effect are weak networks having on Africa’s development?

What effect are weak networks having on Africa's development?


With the exception of South Africa, the region has a very low population density.

One consequence of this geographic dispersion is that transport costs to and from Africa — and even more between African destinations — are extremely high by international standards.

That is both a cause, and a result, of the low density and sketchy networks of people that exist on the continent.

Given that situation, foreign investment can act as a crucial "network connector." Where conditions are right, small export processing zones can grow — and morph into increasingly prosperous manufacturing clusters.

Any investment that connects parts of Africa more closely to worldwide networks is vital — because it provides additional opportunities and lower costs for Africans.

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About Guy Pfeffermann

Guy Pfeffermann is the Founder and CEO of the Global Business School Network. He was formerly the chief economist of the IFC. Follow him @GPfeffermann

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