Nazir Alli, founder and former Chief Executive Officer of South African National Roads Agency (SANRAL) has called for contextualised policies to enhancing road infrastructure in African countries.
"It is important to get the basics right - contextualised policies, a capable workforce as well as pursuing smart strategies with direct external partners in the development of Africa's infrastructure," said Ali delivering speaking at the 26th World Road Congress on Tuesday. Speaking on the topic 'Enhancing infrastructure for social cohesion and trade in Africa', Alli said: "The roads in Africa are taken for granted without acknowledging their vital contribution to security, safety, economic growth and social development. Across the highway network across the region, approximately 47 per cent is paved yet maintenance remains a problem due to rain or hazardous items like rocks and sand.
Guangzhe Chen, Global Director of Transport Global Practice Regional Director, South Asian Infrastructure Department of World Bank highlighted the need for sustainable transport in view of the global population. Chen focused on the need for sustainable investment in the transport industry to deal with present and future challenges, especially as the population is projected to increase by 1 billion worldwide by 2030.
"The demand for transport solutions has grown rapidly and will continue to expand in the future. Rural and urban connectivity will drive the investment agenda for sustainable transport," said Chen. He further added, "At the same time, it will require sustainable approaches. Decisions today can lock-in countries and cities on a sustainable or unsustainable development path,".
(With inputs from 26th World Road Congress)
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