Africa is home to seven of the ten fastest-growing economies in the world.

As populations increase and growing numbers of Africans join the world’s “middle class”, the face of Africa is changing rapidly. Development projects are at the heart of these changes, providing much-needed infrastructure and opening up the continent for increased trade and tourism.

Here are some of the biggest African development projects completed recently or currently underway, with a focus on transportation – roads, bridges, rail and airports. Both new and reconditioned motor graders, like those KH Plant supplies, play a key role in many of these projects.

African road development projects

Bamako highway

The North-South Africa corridor

Development of the multi-billion dollar North-South Africa corridor is underway. Designed to facilitate trade across the region, the corridor runs from South Africa to Zambia and the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), and from Botswana to Malawi – in the process linking eight countries.

The corridor project includes power generation and port development projects, as well as a network of over 8,500 kilometres of road and roughly 600 kilometres of rail.

The project is being led by the COMESA-EAC-SADC Tripartite Task Force, with funding from various development partners, governments and the World Bank.

Conakry – Bamako Highway

In 2014, a transnational highway connecting Conakry in Guinea to Bamako in Mali was opened to traffic. The 938-kilometre highway cost US$17 million and has hugely reduced the time it takes to transport goods between the cities – boosting trade and local economies.

Rail development projects in Africa

railway development

High-speed rail network in Nigeria

A new high-speed rail network in Nigeria is set to span over 3,200 kilometres, linking key cities and towns and easing stress on the country’s roads. The rail network is to be build by the China Railway Construction Corporation.

Mombasa-Kigali railway

A 2,935-kilometre stretch of railway is due to link Kenya’s Mombasa with Tanzania, Rwanda and South Sudan, boosting trade and providing previously land-locked countries with an important economic corridor.

Benguela railway

In 2014, work was completed on the longest, fastest railway in Africa. The Benguela railway cost US$1,83 billion and links Angolan ports to the country’s inland cities, as well as to the DRC and Zambia. It includes 67 stations and supports rail speeds of up to 90 kilometres per hour.

Bridge developments

bridge development

New Jinja Bridge in Uganda

Also known as the Second Nile Bridge and spanning 525 metres, the New Jinja Bridge is under construction in Uganda. It’s to serve as a second crossing of the Nile, linking Uganda’s capital city to areas along the Kenyan border and relieving congestion on the existing Nalubaale Bridge. The project’s estimated cost is US$125 million.

Abidjan Bridge in the Ivory Coast

Completed in 2014, Abidjan Bridge cost roughly US$300 million and was one of the Ivory Coast’s biggest development projects. The 592-metre bridge crosses the Ébrié Lagoon in the port city of Abidjan, connecting the two sides of the city. It forms part of an expressway designed to allow faster transport of goods (including the region’s all-important cocoa) to the city’s port.

African airport upgrades

airport development

Jomo Kenyatta Airport Terminal in Kenya

Scheduled for completion by 2016, Kenya’s upgraded Jomo Kenyatta Airport Terminal is due to become the largest airport terminal in Africa. It will have sufficient capacity to handle up to 20 million passengers a year. The cost of the project is estimated at US$654 million.

Abu Jifar Airport, Ethiopia

Completed in April 2014, the upgraded Abu Jifar Airport in Ethiopia is helping boost much-needed trade and tourism in the country. The development project cost US$49 million.

Motor graders in Africa

Motor graders

If you’re involved in the African development sector, these are exciting times, with massive growth and development occurring across the continent.

From a practical perspective, it often makes logistical and economic sense for developers in sub-Saharan African to source refurbished equipment from South Africa, rather than facing the prohibitive costs associated with buying the equipment new or having it transported from another continent.

For information about the range of refurbished Caterpillar 140G, 140H and 140K motor graders available from KH Plant, contact us online or call one of our representatives on .

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