Revolution continues as Sudanese red sea port workers go on strike

Sea port workers of the eastern Sudanese Red Sea province supported the country’s ongoing revolution by going on strike, protesting corruption and demanding civilian rule.

A political activist, Mohamed Al-Zaki, says that unlike Sudan’s earlier revolutions, protests started in the peripheries as opposed to the centre, specifically in the eastern province of the Red Sea and its ports.

“Port Sudan is among the first to participate in this revolution. It has a large and inspirational role, along with other states like al-Damazeen and Niyala. We can say that the revolution was launched from the edges of Sudan, and was later transported to the centre. This is opposed to the earlier revolutions, which started first from the centre and then spread to the edges of Sudan,” Al-Zaki added.

Port Sudan is among the first to participate in this revolution. It has a large and inspirational role.

Workers of the Sea Ports Corporation gathered at the headquarters, assembling outside the building, chanting and waving banners.

A member of the Sea Ports Corporation also said that the port has managed to bring in 9 million Euros since the 22nd and 23rd of March.

Sudan’s main protest group called for a general strike on Tuesday saying two late-night negotiation sessions with the military had failed to reach a deal on how to lead the country after the overthrow of former president Omar al-Bashir.

“A lot of countries observe the strategic issue of the Red Sea. They try to seize the ports for their own benefits, in order to meet its own strategic goal. They enter through the ports of the weak-hearted. Thank God, we are able to improve our condition. We ask the Military Council’s new government, which has put the agreement on hold (agreement allowing a company from the Philippines to purchase the southern port), to cancel the agreement. We want it to cancel the agreement,” said Head of Communications, Sea ports Corporation, sami Al-Sayegh.

Bashir, the former Islamist general under whose rule Sudan was placed on a U.S. list of sponsors of terrorism, was ousted by the army after months of protests against soaring prices, cash shortages and other economic hardships.

Source : www.africanews.com

Khartoum state announces the arrival of the boats from Saudi Arabia, China and Qatar in mid-January

The Minister of Infrastructure and Transport of the State of Khartoum, Khalid Mohammed Khair, announced the start of the arrival of the fleet of boats from Saudi Arabia, Qatar and China to work within the transport system in public transport in mid January. He pointed to postponement of the announcement of increasing the tariff of transportation in the state to 50% Arrangements of the system following the study of a technical committee in that regard.

He said d. The Ministry of Information and Information Technology said that more than (5.7) million people are using the transport traffic in the morning and evening in the movement within the state of Khartoum. He explained that his ministry started implementing the collection of public vehicles data manually and electronically through (286) A gas station in the state within (2300) gas station in Sudan. “We have started registering vehicles to dry fuel leaks to the black market, and we are seeking to complete the database for the purpose of issuing an electronic card for each car to obtain its share of fuel,” he said.

 

He gave a detailed explanation to the media about the 2019 plan for the Ministry of Infrastructure and Transport in the areas of roads and bridges, and to address the reasons for breaking the traffic congestion and technical treatments that were developed for him during the year.

 

The minister expected the opening of the Damascus bridge next July after the delay of the arrival of two shipments of iron from the countries of Egypt and China.

 

Source : Rawan for Media Production

North Darfur: Strategic Project for Water Harvesting, Development and Production

Khartoum – Government of Sudan, United Nations Environment Program (UNEP) and the European Union (EU) inagurated the second phase of Wadi Al-Koa Project to manage water, and livelihoods in North Darfur State.

Vice President of the Republic, Dr. Osman Mohamed Yousef Kibir said that the said project in the State of North Darfur is one of the strategic projects in terms of water, development, increase production, stability and self-sufficiency, stressing the state’s commitment to support joint projects between them and partners.

Speaking at the inauguration of the second phase of the Wadi Al-Koa Basin project in North Darfur State, Kibir said that the project came at the right time and place, praising the efforts and contributions of the European Union and the United Nations in supporting the project, calling for more efforts to support water harvesting projects in Darfur, saying that such projects reflect the cooperation between the Sudan, United Nations and the European Union, pointing out that they are in need of development and the establishment of more projects, calling for the development of the project and its widening its circle to be used in the development of climate, noting that 80% of the population of the state are farmers and grazing, directing the state government to provide support to benefit from the project widely because the Darfur communities need such projects, adding that the conditions surrounding the world especially climate change need more efforts and support, stressing that the future of the world in the environment.

For his part, State Minister at the Environment Supreme Council, Aboud Jaber called to implement such experiment in the other states, indicating to the importance of Wadi Al-Koa project to support the development services, saying that North Darfur State facing challenges, top of which drought and desertification, indicating that the project will support agricultural and social movement.

Minister of Production and Economic Resources of North Darfur State affirmed that the project aims to improve livelihoods to 700 thousand of the state population.

Source : Sudan Vision

Integrated school helps Syrians adapt to life in Sudan

LEAD IN: A dedicated school in Sudan for both Syrian and Sudanese female students is being hailed a success for integrating and welcoming refugees. More than 150,000 Syrian refugees have arrived in Sudan since the start of war in Syria.

 

STORY-LINE: Female students arrive for classes at Somayya bint Al-Khayyat Standard Girls School for Basic Education on the outskirts of Khartoum. While it looks like a regular busy morning assembly, this school has one big difference – the majority of students are Syrian. The school is made up of 240 Syrian girls and 120 Sudanese students.

 

Of the 25 teachers, 17 are Syrian and the rest are Sudanese. There’s no segregation and all classes are a mix of girls from the same age group. The shared language and similarities in culture help the students to bond with each other. The joint Syrian-Sudanese school is being hailed as a successful program for integrating Syrian refugees into a new life in Sudan. Ola Othman is a 14 year-old Syrian student who came to Sudan with her family six months ago to flee the fighting in her home country. “All my colleagues are good. We have no problems among us, ever. They are kind. Teachers are excellent.

 

They explain everything we want, and answer all our questions. My grades are excellent and I hope to stay so,” she says. The Sudanese government has allied the school with the Committee to Support Syrian Families, which is a group helping Syrian refugees in Khartoum. The group provides the equipment and supplies needed to bring the school closer to those in Syria. However the school teaches the official Sudanese curriculum, but with added extras to cater for the Syrian students. “We teach them English, because the Sudanese government schools do not teach English until the fifth grade and above. We teach it from the first grade. They (students) also study Syria’s geography and history,” says Nusaiba Al-Ayoubi, supervisor of Syrian students in Somayya bint Al-Khayyat school. The deputy head teacher, Laila Mostafa, says the students are progressing well in the shared environment. Ola Othman moved to Sudan with her father, mother and two brothers.

 

Like other Syrian families, they entered without a visa. Sudan allows Syrians to enter its territory without a visa and subsequently treats them as Sudanese citizens in terms of free education, treatment in government hospitals, freedom of movement and acquisitions and the opening of projects. For these reasons and others, more than 150,000 Syrian refugees have arrived in Sudan since the start of war in Syria. They are called here guests not refugees. Ola’s father works as a blacksmith and earns approximately 4000 Sudanese pounds per month. Half of that goes on rent for the apartment they live in.

 

Ola’s mother works as a teacher in the Syrian school and earns around 500 pounds per month. Ola says she has high hopes of becoming an eye doctor when she finishes her schooling. “I want to become an oculist, because the field of ophthalmology does not deal with blood, for when I was in Syria I had a problem with blood, because there is always blood, blood, blood. So, I am afraid of blood, and I liked to be an oculist due to lack of surgery in ophthalmology. I only do not want to conduct surgery, I just want to examine the eyes (for) diseases, the nearsightedness, farsightedness and so on,” she says.

 

US to begin talks to remove Sudan from terrorism list

Khartoum keen to reintegrate with international community and revive faltering economy

Traders in Khartoum: the Sudanese economy is suffering with inflation approaching 70% © Reuters

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The US and Sudan have agreed to begin official negotiations to remove the former pariah state from a list of state sponsors of terrorism, a move that could help the African country to reintegrate with the international community and revive its faltering economy.

Al-Dirdiri Mohamed Ahmed, Sudan’s foreign minister, met with representatives from the state department in Washington this week during which the two parties agreed to begin formal talks, an official from the department said. The negotiations follow a first phase of dialogue that led to the US lifting a 20-year-old embargo on trade with the Sudanese government in October 2017. 

Sudan has been on the list of state sponsors of terrorism since 1993, when its Islamist government led by current President Omer al-Bashir was accused of harbouring terrorists, including Osama bin Laden. The al-Qaeda leader lived in Sudan from 1991 until 1996.  The US increased pressure on Khartoum in 1997, introducing a sanctions program that stopped American companies from trading with Sudan and made it complicated for any foreign business to deal with the country.

Those sanctions were lifted last year but Sudan was left on the list of state sponsors of terrorism, alongside Iran, Syria and North Korea.  A spokesperson for the Sudan’s foreign ministry confirmed that Mr Al-Dirdiri was in the US for talks but could not immediately comment on their progress. 

Students at the University of Science and Technology in Khartoum: Sudan wants to normalise ties with the west © Reuters

In an interview in the Sudanese capital last week, Mr Al-Dirdiri told the Financial Times that removing his country from the US terror-list was the government’s principle foreign policy objective.  “We have already engaged with them and we are very hopeful that we will, soon enough, be right on track,” he said. 

Sudan had hoped that the end of the sanctions program last year would normalise business relations between the country and the West. But many financial institutions have remained reluctant to deal with the country and most international transactions remain difficult, though they are no longer prohibited.  As a consequence, the economy has continued to suffer. The Sudanese pound has fallen 85 per cent against the dollar since the start of the year and inflation reached 68 per cent in September. 

Removing Sudan from the list of terrorism sponsors would help to convince international banks to transact with the country and enable the government to engage with the International Monetary Fund on matters of debt relief and budgetary assistance, Mr Al Dirdiri said. Sudan has about $50bn of external debt but is not able to access debt relief while it remains on the US list. 

Al-Dirdiri Mohamed Ahmed, Sudanese foreign minister © AFP

The negotiations will focus on Sudan’s compliance in five areas including counter-terrorism co-operation, protection of rights, and humanitarian access to conflict areas. Though there is little evidence that Sudan has supported terrorism since the 1990s, its rights record and the violent repression of armed rebellions remain contentious issues on which the US government wants to see improvement.

“They are speaking to us now about our role in the region, about our human rights record, also the requirement of enhancing humanitarian assistance to the rebellion,” Mr Al-Dirdiri said.

“We want to access investment and international finance markets” he added. “If we are to have all those benefits we should first start by seeing to it that our relations with the US are normalised.”

Source: Financial Times

Four people killed in new floods in Red Sea state

Floods resulting from heavy rains in Red Sea state have killed four people in Tokar on Thursday. The road between Tokar and Port Sudan has been cut off.

Flooding of the river El Gash in Kassala State, eastern Sudan, in July 2016 (RD)

Flooding of the river El Gash in Kassala State, eastern Sudan, in July 2016 (RD)

The commission of Tokar, Mekki Abdallah, has announced that authorities will form an operations team to monitor the situation.

Torrential rains that started on Wednesday last week are still continuing and hindering life in a number of places in Red Sea state. Last week a young man drowned in the eastern part of Port Sudan.

Floods have affected Arbaat and its agricultural fields, north of Port Sudan. Water and electricity supply halted. Hundreds of livestock and poultry drowned.

In the villages of Shidyab and Togarib in Haya locality, hundreds of people are living in the open after their homes were destroyed by the rains, Radio Dabanga reported on Sunday. Volunteers have distributed food and medical aids to the victims and people voiced demands to the local authorities and aid organisations to intervene.

Source : Dabanga

BREAKING: Ex-Machar Spokesman James Gatdet Dak Released

November 2nd 2018 (Nyamilepedia) – The former press secretary of the leader of the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement in Opposition  (SPLM-IO) who has been sentenced to death by a Juba court in February this year has been released, the Nyamilepedia has learned.

Ex-Machar spokesman James Gatdet Dak and South African citizen who has been working as military advisor to Machar gesture as they are set free on Friday morning (File/Supplied/Nyamilepedia)

 

James Gatdet Dak was released on Friday morning along with a South African former military personnel who has 10.

Several sources told the Nyamilepedia this morning that James Gatdet Dak has been handed over to the International Committee of Red Cross  (ICRC) and is expected to be taken to Sudan’s capital Khartoum this afternoon.

Gatdet was arrested in Kenya in 2016 and a join Kenyan and South Sudan operatives and was subsequently smuggled to South Sudan and finally sentenced to death in February 2018.

Source:  Nyamilepedia

 

Investigations against Sudan journalists who met with EU, US diplomats ‘preliminary’

Yesterday, the State Security Prosecution conducted investigations with three journalists and correspondents of news agencies because of their meeting, among other journalists, with Western ambassadors in October.

Bahram Abdelmonim, a journalist of El Yowm El Tali newspaper told Radio Dabanga that the prosecutor’s inquiries included his person, Anatolia correspondent Khalid Abdelaziz, Reuters reporter and Sudan Satellite journalist Shawgi Abdelazim.

The investigation, according to Abdelmonim, included questions related to the nature of the meeting, which included 10 journalists with the ambassadors of the European Union and the US Charge d’Affaires.

Abdelmonim said that the State Security Prosecutor informed him that the investigations are preliminary with the aim to decide whether or not to file charges against the journalists.

He said that he answered the prosecutor’s questions that the meeting with Western ambassadors discussed ordinary issues such as the National Press Act, the confiscation of newspapers and the suppression of journalists and that the link that brings together the journalists invited to meet the ambassadors is professional.

El Watan newspaper

El Watan newspaper

 

Print-run confiscated

Yesterday morning, the security apparatus confiscated all printed copies of El Watan newspaper and summoned its chairman of the management council, because of an article about Qatar and Al Jazeera channel.

Yousef Sid Ahmed, the chairman of El Watan newspaper council, told Radio Dabanga that the security representative told him during the summons that the reason for the confiscation was a column criticising Qatar and Al Jazeera.

The newspaper has been subjected to repeated confiscations and blocking of advertisements, which has exposed it to material and moral losses.

Ongoing media curbs

The Media in Sudan are continuously subjected to confiscations of newspapers, and summons and detentions of journalists.

In the end of June, the cabinet extended the power of the government-controlled Press and Publications Council as well as restrictions on the media to online news outlets, when it passed amendments of the Media and Publication Act. A month later, the NISS restored prior-censorship of newspapers.

In early August, editors-in-chief and the head of the NISS in Khartoum agreed in a meeting to form a committee to deliberate on the so-called red lines set by the security apparatus for Sudanese media. New confiscations of newspapers were therefore briefly suspended.

However, the NISS began gagging the press again on August 27, when the print-runs of El Jareeda and El Tayyar were confiscated. No explanations were given. Four days later, NISS officers stopped the distribution of El Jareeda and El Tayyar again, together with the print-run of El Rai El Aam, without stating a reason.

Abdelaziz told Radio Dabanga at the time that “in the past there used to be ‘red lines’ not to criticise the president or vice-presidents of Sudan, members of the security apparatus, and the police. However, these lines have become very unclear and unpredictable now”.

In early September, three young journalists were summoned by security agents in Khartoum and El Gedaref. A Sudanese reporter was banned from writing. The print-run of El Saiha daily, the newspaper he was writing for, was confiscated on September 8.

Sudan is ranked at the bottom of the World Press Freedom Index by Reporters Without Borders.

Source : Dabanga

Tripartite meeting in Addis Ababa between Egypt, Ethiopia and Sudan ended with no agreement

What is said to be the 19th tripartite meeting between Egypt,Ethiopia and Sudan ended with no agreement. The parties met in Addis Ababa this time around.

Nile Dam_ Ethiopia

Source : Borkena

 

The three countries have hired a French private firm to complete study on impact of Ethiopia’s $ 5 Billion grand dam project,it is believed to be the first of its kind in Africa, on the flow of water to the lower riparian countries.

The bottleneck in the talk is that Egypt seeks to the 1959 Nile agreement, to which Ethiopia was not a party, as a point of reference for the impact assessment by hired by the three countries.

Ethiopia, on the other hand, disagrees on the point that the agreement between Sudan and Egypt during colonial Africa should not be binding for Ethiopia.

Egypt has a stand that “no single drop of Egyptian water” could be used by other countries. 85 percent of the Nile water originates from Ethiopia and the water was never used by Ethiopia for generating electric power or otherwise.

Ethiopia reaffirmed on different occasions that the Grand Dam project will not cause change to the volume of water flowing to Egypt.

Ethiopian authorities say that over 60 % of the project is completed.

 

Urbanisation in sub-Saharan Africa: City master plans

 

This article was produced for the NTU-SBF Centre for African Studies, a trilateral platform for government, business and academia to promote knowledge and expertise on Africa, established by Nanyang Technological University and the Singapore Business Federation.

 

Sub-Saharan Africa is undergoing the largest wave of urban growth in history. Since the beginning of the century, the urban population in the region grew by more than 200 million people. Today, 430 million people, or 38% of the population of sub-Saharan Africa, live in a city. This relentless urbanisation process brings huge social, economic and environmental transformations.

 

Urbanisation is often seen as a negative evolution of the human condition. The increasing number of people living in urban centres brings up the demand for housing, services (electricity, water and sewerage), education and for jobs. If this demand is not met, the result is poverty. Nowhere is the rise of inequality clearer than in urban areas, where wealthy communities coexist alongside, and separate from, slums and informal settlements.

 

However, urbanisation, if done correctly, can generate many good fruits. Commuting becomes cheaper and faster as cities concentrate people and businesses in a smaller area. A city has a greater variety of markets and goods than rural areas. More diverse job opportunities and easier access to education make cities a potential source for economic growth and self-development. Cities converge consumers and their spending and create new markets for goods and services. In the next 15 years, consumer spending in African cities is projected to reach US$2.2tn, a three-fold increase from current levels.

 

With the highest urbanisation rate after Asia, the future cities in Africa will require fast but comprehensible planning. By 2030, cities in sub-Saharan Africa will be home to 715 million people (Figure 1), or 47% of the population of the region. Basic housing and public services in urban areas such as healthcare, education, and public safety will struggle to match the growth rates of the urban population across the region. The growth of urban concentrations will be such that by 2030, sub-Saharan Africa will have 82 cities with more than one million people (Figure 2). From these, at least five will be mega-cities with more than 10 million people.

 

Figure 1 – Urban and rural population in sub-Saharan Africa

 

Figure 2 – Number of cities with over one million people in sub-Saharan Africa

According to Tinashe Hatendi, business development manager for Africa at Surbana Jurong, urbanisation largely happens because of economic growth: “People move from place to place looking for new economic opportunities to better themselves, better their lives. At the heart of any urbanisation process, lies an economic driver.”

 

Surbana Jurong has a significant presence in Africa. Its footprint extends over 29 countries and includes 1,500 professionals in the continent. The company is involved in a range of different projects: from sewage treatment systems in Kenya, passing through capacity improvement of highways in South Africa to the rehabilitation of water dams for power generation in Malawi.

 

Across sub-Saharan Africa, there is a growing concern from mayors and governors about creating a long-term plan for the development of urban and industrial areas. Singapore, one of the world’s most densely-populated countries, brings its expertise in urban planning to Africa with the help of companies such as Surbana Jurong, Hyflux and Meinhardt.

 

In the past two years, Surbana Jurong acquired two companies that helped accelerate the expansion of business in Africa: SMEC, a large engineering company with downstream capabilities, and Robert Bird Group (RBG), which specialises in the construction of iconic buildings.

 

Surbana Jurong is responsible for the city planning of Kigali, the capital of Rwanda (Figure 3). Launched in 2011 and with the aim of guiding the city development for the next 20 to 30 years, this comprehensive venture includes the optimisation of the transit system and development of affordable housing in the suburban areas of Kigali. The city will have three districts: Nyarugenge district will serve as a financial hub, Kicukiro, as a knowledge hub, and Gasabo will be the employment and cultural heart of the city.

 

Kigali’s master plan is one of the most recognised projects undertaken by Surbana Jurong in the African continent, winning the 2010 Best Overseas Planning Project Award and the Best Planning Project Award, in 2013, from the Singapore Institute of Planners Awards. This project helped disseminate the idea that a city can only reach optimum standards through the development of careful planning and thorough execution.

 

Following the creation of the master plan in Kigali, Surbana Jurong organised the construction schedule. The company established an office in Kigali from where the team of engineers and architects could closely follow the project execution.

 

Figure 3 – Kigali’s city plan

 

Master planning in Lagos

 

Surbana is also responsible for the master planning of Lekki New Township, which will accommodate the residential demands of Lagos’s expansion in Nigeria.

With a population of 21 million people, Lagos is not only the most populous city in Africa, but it is also one with the highest growth rates. The fast population growth adds further strain to the already insufficient public services and housing conditions in the city. Lagos’ population is projected to reach the 30 million mark by 2030.

 

In total, the Nigerian government created 12 development plans to address the infrastructural challenges of Lagos for the next 15 years. Located on the outskirts of the economic capital of Nigeria, the Lekki peninsula is an important economic arm of metropolitan Lagos (Figure 4). Besides Surbana Jurong’s township planning, the Nigerian government has created the Lekki Free Zone (LFZ) as a landmark for the industrial development of Lagos.

 

The development of the LFZ is 40% funded by the State, with the remaining 60% provided by Chinese counterpart China-Africa Lekki Investment Ltd. Until May of 2017, 116 investors had registered with the LFZ, from which 16 had commenced full operations. The project will have a deep sea port (in which the Singaporean group Tolaram played a major role), a new airport, an industrial park, a warehousing area, and it will also host an amusement park, hotels, a cultural centre, a golf course, hospitals and schools. It will be home to 3.4 million people and have a non-residential population, such as touristic, hotels, commercial, offices, hospitals and industrial, of about 1.9 million people. Eventually, the LFZ will be turned into an industrial satellite city of Lagos.

 

Another urban development linked to Lagos is the upgrade of the Ikorodu township, which proposes to turn this rapidly expanding settlement into an eco-friendly contemporary development. Ikorodu is a suburban town, with 40% of its inhabitants driving daily to work in nearby Lagos. Besides the construction of residential areas and the expansion and improvement of roads and public transportation, the project includes an e-library, a fire station, a seaport and hospitals.

 

 

Figure 4 – Metropolitan Lagos

 

Master planning elsewhere in Africa

In 2016, Surbana Jurong secured its largest master planning contract to date. The company will be responsible for the conceptual planning of the Northern Savannah Ecological Zone of Ghana and the detailed master-planning of the cities of Buipe and Tamale. The zone covers 54.4% or 130,262km2 of the land area of Ghana.

 

In Gabon, Surbana Jurong was appointed by Singapore Cooperation Enterprise (SCE) as the master planner for the Greater Libreville region, estimated to be 1,000km2 or around 1.5 times the size of Singapore.

 

Surbana Jurong is also in charge of another huge master planning contract. Covering an area of 9,600km2, the company is designing the future of Kinshasa, the capital of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). The project includes a regional plan, a master plan of Kinshasa and a detailed master plan of 24 municipalities in the surrounding areas. Kinshasa has a population of about 10 million people. This figure is expected to double by 2050.

 

Hyflux in Africa

Many other cities in sub-Saharan Africa started having their master plans inked in the recent years. In Tanzania, the Star City Township project in the Tungi Special Economic Zone is an example. Tungi is located within the urban limits of Morogoro City, 160km from Dar es Salaam. The project is a partnership between Singapore company Hyflux and a local developer. Hyflux has an extensive track record in the construction of water desalination plants and power generation plants (waste-to-energy and gas turbine) in various locations around the globe. For the Star City project, Hyflux will develop the infrastructure, utilities and environmental solutions.

 

The Star City project will feature an industrial park, a residential area for 140,000 people and a university town with educational facilities. The project also includes plans for the construction of hotels, a golf course and a theme park, all aimed at attracting tourists. The development will also have its own power plant and water treatment facilities. Phase one of the project is expected to be completed by 2025.

 

Meinhardt in Africa

Another Singapore company that is gaining space in the urban infrastructure sector in Africa is engineering company Meinhardt. Meinhardt is a Singapore end-to-end engineering company responsible for the design and construction supervision of the Nairobi Pinnacle Tower in Kenya (Figure 5). When completed in December 2019, the 320m skyscraper will be the tallest building on the continent. Meinhardt is responsible for projects such as The Dubai Mall, the World Trade Centre 2 in Indonesia, the KL Central Station in Malaysia and the BHP Global headquarters in Melbourne.

 

Figure 5 – Nairobi Pinnacle Tower, 320m tall

Meinhardt started growing in Africa very recently. Sanjay Sharma, regional director for Africa at Meinhardt, assisted the group to enter into the East African market in 2016, by advising and identifying the acquisition of an engineering company in Nairobi, Kenya. The company continues to expand in the region and recently opened an office in Kigali, to manage its projects in Rwanda.

 

Sharma states that East Africa suffers from a huge infrastructural gap in terms of roads and railways. “Kenya needs about 10,000km of new roads today,” which will assist in the challenges facing urbanisation in Africa. Meinhardt is currently looking at road construction supervision projects in Kenya.

 

For all the good prospects of investments in urban development, it is not a surprise that Meinhardt has selected Kenya and Rwanda as strategic countries for investment. Sharma considers that these countries have been promoting multiple infrastructure projects in the recent years and that foreign companies can operate with little interference from the government. However, he emphasises that the government could be more proactive when it comes to giving the go-ahead on large construction projects.

 

Concluding remarks

 

Urbanisation across Africa is usually focused on the largest cities, sometimes neglecting mid-size and small towns. A more balanced urbanisation process has the benefit of giving more options to businesses and industries of different sizes to establish themselves closer to their target market. Rwanda, for example, is making a conscious effort to develop secondary cities and avoid putting pressure on Kigali’s infrastructure. The goal is to promote the local economy through investment in infrastructure and providing technical assistance to district governments in enabling and partnering with the private sector.

Otavio Veras is an adjunct researcher of the NTU-SBF Centre for African Studies, a trilateral platform for government, business and academia to promote knowledge and expertise on Africa, established by Nanyang Technological University and the Singapore Business Federation. Otavio can be reached at overas@ntu.edu.sg