GLOBAL INFRASTRUCTURES AND URBANIZATION ISSUES

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Booming cities from Lagos, Nigeria; Santiago in Chile down to Beihai, China have a relentless demand for new office buildings, improved facilities, modern technology, smart infrastructures. There exists economic and infrastructure transition in most countries of Africa and Latin America. According to UN report, ‘The State of African Cities’, African countries and cities are burdened by high infrastructure deficits and shortages in access to technologies and services. Poor transport infrastructures are responsible for 40 per cent of the logistics costs in coastal - and 60 per cent in landlocked countries.

Developing economies are therefore witnessing tremendous growth, though largely tamed by ineffectiveness and lack of transparency, accountability and rule of law in the politics and governance of most these nations. Africa for instance still suffers from systems (institutions) that are weaker than strong men that built them. As claimed by two illustrious professors that coauthored the book, ‘Why Nations Fail’, The book which applies insights from institutional economics, development economics and economic history to understand why nations develop differently, with some succeeding in the accumulation of power and prosperity and others failing, via a wide range of historical case studies. Daron Acemoglu and James Robinson; the two scholars argued, sustainable economic development can only be achieved through inclusive institutions not by extractive institutions built to serve selected few in the society. That said!

Despite economic slowdown in Nigeria and South Africa, the construction industry growth to be witnessed in years ahead would be huge compared to the developed countries. According to PWC’s Global Construction 2025 report, the construction market in Western Europe is expected to be almost 5 percent smaller by 2025 than it was in 2007.

Africa presents immense problems, most of these problems are opportunities in disguise. Lack of basic amenities would provide jobs for young and vibrant professionals through the investment of government in capital projects. Governments of Africa need to sit tight and work out long-term programme and policy in addressing problems of this continent. Rural urban migration, youth exclusion from governance, economic disparity, poorly trained African population, youth restlessness, all these demand timely solution if Africa is ready to partake in the global economy of tomorrow.

Population growth and urbanization pose great threats to government in providing infrastructure that meets modern society. Even if all of us choose to bury our heads in the sand, the rise in population and calls for an improved standard of living from the growing population will catch up with us.

Topnotch!

AYODELE FALEYE,PMP  

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Ayo Faleye

A writer

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