The Face of African Infrastructure: Service Availability and Citizens' Demands

60 Pages Posted: 27 Jun 2015

See all articles by Benjamin Leo

Benjamin Leo

Center for Global Development; Georgetown University

Robert Morello

Center for Global Development

Vijaya Ramachandran

Center for Global Development

Date Written: February 5, 2015

Abstract

The need for infrastructure improvements is a top-tier economic, political, and social issue in nearly every African country. Although the academic and policy literature is extensive in terms of estimating the impact of infrastructure deficits on economic and social indicators, very few studies have examined citizen demands for infrastructure. In this paper, we draw upon survey data to move beyond topline estimates of national infrastructure access rates towards a more nuanced understanding of service availability and citizen demands at the regional, national, and sub-national level. We find a predictable pattern of infrastructure services across income levels — lower income countries have fewer services. The survey data also allows us to observe the sequencing of infrastructure services. On the demand side, survey respondents are most concerned with jobs and income-related issues, as well as with the availability of infrastructure: specifically transportation and sanitation. These priorities transcend demographic factors, including gender and location (urban/rural).

Keywords: infrastructure, infrastructure access, Africa

JEL Classification: O18, O55

Suggested Citation

Leo, Benjamin and Morello, Robert and Ramachandran, Vijaya, The Face of African Infrastructure: Service Availability and Citizens' Demands (February 5, 2015). Center for Global Development Working Paper No. 393. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2623083 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2623083

Benjamin Leo (Contact Author)

Center for Global Development ( email )

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

Georgetown University

Washington, DC 20057
United States

Robert Morello

Center for Global Development ( email )

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

Vijaya Ramachandran

Center for Global Development ( email )

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

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