News & events


Where are the grassroots located in Africas infrastructure development drive?

03 October 2012
12:30 - 14:00

Date : 03 October 2012

Time : 12:30 – 14:00


Ms. Namhla Mniki-Mangaliso, Director of African Monitor.

Mr. Adama Deen, Head: Regional Integration and Infrastructure, NEPAD Planning and Coordinating Agency – TBC

The focus of African Monitor’s Development Support Monitor (DSM) publication for 2012 is on Rural infrastructure in Africa. It explores continental plans and funding by African governments and development partners in this sector, and notes that despite infrastructure gaining more prominence by policy-makers and continental bodies in recent times, most often, rural infrastructure provision where the majority of the rural poor operate is often neglected.

Inadequate and unreliable infrastructure services are common in the majority of rural communities in Africa. Rural households do not have adequate access to safe drinking water, electricity, reliable transportation or modern communication services. It is also reported that only 34 percent of rural Africans live within two kilometers of an all-season road, compared to 65 percent in other developing regions. Although the AU and regional bodies have emphasized the importance of rural infrastructure and its role in development, most of the focus as seen in the Programme for Infrastructure Development in Africa (PIDA), has been on large infrastructure development such as port upgrades, highway construction, etc. While the benefits of these to economic development are indisputable, there has been disproportionately little focus on infrastructure which enables and facilitates the grassroots to be productive and engaged in economic activities at their level. In most cases, the benefits of large infrastructure projects have by-passed grassroots communities and have failed to trickle down to them. Rural communities are thus in large parts still cut- off from development interventions and sectors. For the African Monitor, the provision of facilitatory infrastructure services “that gets the grassroots going in terms of livelihood and economic opportunities” is key if Africa is to truly unlock its moment and unleash its potential.

Kindly RSVP by 1 October 2012

This seminar may be attended via video conference in Pretoria, Cape Town and KwaZulu-Natal. Details as below.

Cape Town: HSRC, 12th Floor, Plein Park Building (Opposite Revenue Office), Plein Street, Cape Town. Contact Jean Witten, Tel (021) 4668004, Fax (021) 461 0299, or

Durban: First floor HSRC board room, 750 Francois Road, Ntuthuko Junction, Pods 5 and 6, Cato Manor, Contact Ridhwaan Khan, Tel (031) 242 5400, cell: 083 788 2786 or

Pretoria: HSRC Video Conference, 1st floor HSRC Library Human Sciences Research Council, 134 Pretorius Street, Pretoria. Arlene Grossberg, Tel: (012) 302 2811, e-mail: