Recent Trends in African Infrastructure Development

  • 05 Apr 2018
  • 11:30 AM - 1:00 PM
  • Beus Center for Law and Society, Room 601, 111 E. Taylor St. Phoenix, AZ 85004


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Recent Trends in African Infrastructure Development

Ms. Margaret (Andy) Dijkerman 

Talking Points Include

  • Africa has experienced rapid economic growth in recent years, despite a massive infrastructure gap—especially in power and transport;
  • World Bank estimates that Sub-Saharan Africa (w/a population of 800 million) generates roughly the same amount of power as Spain (w/a population of 45 million);
  • Only 1/3rd of Africans living in rural areas are within two kilometers of an all-season road, compared with two-thirds of the population in other developing regions of the world;
  • The cost of addressing Africa’s infrastructure deficit is estimated to be approximately US$90b every year for the next decade.
  • Infrastructure financing must look beyond foreign aid. Governments supply the majority source of financing but increasingly have to look at alternative financing sources, including the private sector.
  • China has emerged as a material financier of infrastructure across Africa, including rail, roads and power projects. 


Ms. Margaret (Andy) Dijkerman has devoted her 40-year career to the field of international development with an emphasis on Africa. Andy has lived and/or worked in over 35 countries of Africa, Asia, Europe, Oceania and the FSU and has worked on behalf of multilateral development banks, bilateral donors and the private sector. Ms. Dijkerman has applied her MBA to many aspects of development including strategic program design, infrastructure planning in power and transport sectors, agriculture, economic resilience-building in conflict-affected states, PPPs and private sector development plus policy reform to promote inclusive economic growth. She has designed and delivered numerous capacity-building interventions, including short training workshops and long-term Action Learning programs in the field of infrastructure. During 2017 Andy conducted a feasibility study for potential establishment of a “climate-smart agriculture” financing facility in Africa on behalf of UK Department for International Development. From November 2015 through July 2016 Andy was also a team member of AfDB’s Policy Innovation Lab funded by Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.  The lab’s purpose was to bring innovation into the 14th replenishment of the African Development Fund where her direct focus has been on better ways of promoting private sector development in Africa’s poorest countries. From 2014 through 2016 Andy served as Strategic Advisor to an Infrastructure Skills for Development program involving project managers from East and Southern Africa responsible for strategic, cross-border infrastructure projects in the roads, rail and power sectors under the Africa Union’s Program for Infrastructure Development in Africa (PIDA).  Between 2010 and 2012, Ms. Dijkerman led a series of studies on behalf of the African Development Bank to better identify and define infrastructure investment strategies for fragile, post-conflict states in West Africa. These studies covered Sierra Leone, Liberia and Guinea to guide programming towards improved national harmony and resilience.  In earlier years, Andy worked as a long-term resident advisor on behalf of the Governments of Rwanda, Lesotho and South Africa to bring private sector participation into infrastructure investment and public service delivery.  She has delivered short term technical assistance services in agriculture and private sector development in many other African countries on behalf of the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, the World Bank, the US Agency for International Development and the UK Department for International Development. Andy has also conducted evaluation studies on behalf of donors, including a ten-year review of Project Quality vis-à-vis Development Impact for the World Bank. This assignment, conducted in 2012, resulted in publication of an internal report entitled Delivering Results by Enhancing our Focus on Quality.  The report was awarded the 2013 “Good Practice Award for Monitoring and Evaluation Quality” by the Independent Evaluation Group. 

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