[ACCI-CAVIE] Madagascar’s rugged terrain is one of the factors hindering the development of transport infrastructure. This obstacle also affects economic growth, and with the help of donors, the country’s authorities would like to reverse this trend. The first information obtained by the African Centre for Competitive Intelligence obliges to put this file under monitoring 24/7 for the benefit of organizations that trust the Centre.
Several road projects in Madagascar will benefit from World Bank financing. On March 25, 2022, the banking institution made a commitment of $400 million, half loan, half grant, to renovate a 100 km segment between Mangaoka and Bealanana on the RN31, and another 400 km on the RN10. The funds will also be used to maintain approximately 500 km of road.
Studies carried out by the bank reveal that the country has a sparse road network (32,000 km), much of which is in poor condition. The topography, complicated by the country’s particular geography (with mountains in the center and dense coastal forests), makes the work more costly. In addition, natural disasters, usually cyclones, frequently hit the island and partially destroy the little existing infrastructure.
“The transport infrastructure in Madagascar is rudimentary. The country has a wide range of transport modes. In addition to about 32,000 km of roads, it has an 845 km metric rail network (of which about 670 km is moderately operational under a concession contract with Madarail), 17 seaports, including the country’s main port in Toamasina (which handles 80% of the country’s cargo), 400 km of waterways (Canal des Pangalanes), 12 main airports, and 44 secondary airports. Unfortunately, many of these facilities are currently non-operational or in need of repair or expansion due to lack of maintenance and appropriate investments,” reads the project document published by the institution.
The World Bank says it has focused more of its investments on the transport sector in recent years to help boost the economy by connecting regions that are lagging behind in infrastructure. This is to break the isolation of scattered pockets of settlement and the markets that serve them.
According to Ziad Nakat, the World Bank’s senior transport specialist for Madagascar, the project’s implementation will have the impact of “providing reliable road access to markets and services in some of Madagascar’s poorest areas, while incorporating features to maximize the socio-economic benefits of these roads for adjacent rural communities.
According to official data, many factors complicate the development of road transport infrastructure on the island. In this context, it is necessary to invest significant resources, but with no real guarantee of return on investment in the short term. This situation makes it difficult to mobilize private capital.