There are few industries as pivotal to driving Africa’s sustainable economic development as the civil engineering sector.
No shortage of challenges lies ahead in the development of Africa’s built environment. These challenges are, primarily, financial; how can capital be raised to improve infrastructure and living conditions dramatically?, and environmental; how can a continent of over 1.2bn people (and counting) develop without accelerating climate change and degrading the natural environment?
Shaping a path of truly sustainable economic development on the African continent will need engineering minds at the forefront of policymaking, strategy, and delivery.
As the leading economies of the continent seek to accelerate industrialisation, does Africa’s civil engineering sector have the depth and capacity to deliver on the mega-projects required for growth?
Who are the innovators that will find solutions to challenges around affordable housing, the infrastructure gap, skills shortage, access to capital and environmental impact?
AfricaLive.net speaks with sector leaders from across Africa to understand how African civil engineers seek to shape the future of the continent.
To predict the future for Tanzania, one must accept the contradictions of its recent past. The past two decades have seen strong economic growth figures which have generated wealth in urban areas. On the other hand, Tanzania is still considered to be one of the most impoverished countries in the world with approximately 36 per cent of the population living below the poverty line. Progress has been negligible in rural Tanzania.
The goal now for the country is to make the economy work for all Tanzanians, end poverty, and attract foreign investment which serves the majority of the population without exploitation of natural or human resources. The government has planned the road to development through an industrialisation plan which intends to move the country to middle-income status by 2025, and by taking a firm line with multinational companies it sees as not paying its way.
What does the future look like for Tanzanian economic development?
The opportunities are there, and there is no doubt about that. You should do a proper search for what you are doing. Most investors like complaining about poor infrastructure, political instability, and poor communication. We should know that the African continent is in a developing process, and therefore you can’t expect everything to be like Europe or anywhere else. In taking the challenges, I am very confident that the African countries are working on those challenges, which will take some time to come to an end. Those challenges are the opportunities for people who want to do business in Africa, so do not wait for the problems to be over before you start your business.
Tourism on the African continent is on a positive growth trajectory. Indeed, tourism numbers on the continent have grown at a rate of 8.6% over the past year as compared to a global average of 7%. When it comes to tourism, Africa is the fastest-growing market in the world.
Despite this, there remain significant challenges to grow the levels of Intra-African tourism, with many of Africa's tourists finding it easier and more attractive to travel to Europe or Asia.
Tourism acts a catalyst to wider economic growth and economic integration. Increased growth and collaboration between Africa's tourism destinations could act as a significant job creator across the continent. Where do Africa's leaders see opportunity in the future of Intra-African tourism?