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Discussant: Andre Groenewald - First Secretary (Economic), South African Embassy
Chaired by Todd Moss, Research Fellow, Center for Global Development
Inadequate roads are a major impediment to trade, development and poverty reduction in Africa. What would it cost to fix this long-standing problem? How large would the benefits be? Who should do it? World Bank researchers used spatial analysis and econometric techniques to quantify the costs and trade-expansion potential of a network of primary roads connecting all Sub-Saharan capitals and other cities with more than half a million people. They show very large potential payoffs for a continental network upgrading program. More tentatively, they suggest institutional and administrative arrangements for coordinated development and long-term donor financing of the proposed trans-African road network.