Road Network Upgrading and Overland Trade Expansion in Sub-Saharan Africa

Posted: 10 May 2010

See all articles by Piet Buys

Piet Buys

World Bank - Development Research Group (DECRG)

Uwe Deichmann

World Bank - Development Research Group (DECRG)

David Wheeler

Center for Global Development

Multiple version iconThere are 2 versions of this paper

Date Written: June 2010

Abstract

Recent research suggests that poor economic integration and isolation from regional and international markets have contributed significantly to poverty in Sub-Saharan Africa. Poor transport infrastructure and border restrictions are major deterrents to trade expansion which would stimulate economic growth and poverty reduction. Using spatial network analysis techniques and gravity trade model estimations, this paper quantifies the economics of upgrading a primary road network that connects the major urban areas in the region. The results indicate that continental network upgrading is worth serious consideration from an economic perspective. Our simulations suggest that overland trade among Sub-Saharan African countries might expand by about $250 billion over 15 years, with major direct and indirect benefits for the rural poor. Financing the programme would require about $20 billion for initial upgrading and $1 billion annually for maintenance.

Keywords: F15, H54, O55

Suggested Citation

Buys, Piet and Deichmann, Uwe and Wheeler, David, Road Network Upgrading and Overland Trade Expansion in Sub-Saharan Africa (June 2010). Journal of African Economies, Vol. 19, No. 3, pp. 399-432, 2010. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1601768 or http://dx.doi.org/ejq006

Piet Buys (Contact Author)

World Bank - Development Research Group (DECRG) ( email )

1818 H. Street, N.W.
MSN3-311
Washington, DC 20433
United States
202-522-3230 (Fax)

Uwe Deichmann

World Bank - Development Research Group (DECRG) ( email )

1818 H. Street, N.W.
MSN3-311
Washington, DC 20433
United States

David Wheeler

Center for Global Development ( email )

2055 L St. NW
5th floor
Washington, DC 20036
United States

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