The recently released Africa Infrastructure Development Index (AIDI) which is produced by the African Development Bank shows that Botswana’s ranking has been stagnant for the past four years.
The current AIDI covers the latest data collected by the Bank over the period 2000-2013 under the infrastructure statistics component of its Statistical Capacity Building program in African countries.
Botswana’s ranking has remained the same at position 10 since 2013. In 2013, Botswana scored 33.50, in 2014 scored 34.76, in 2015 scored 35.64 and in the current 2016 report scored 35.63.
However the report highlights that ICT sector has driven the greatest improvements in the AIDI ratings over the past decade, compared to all other sectors. Botswana has also seen reasonable growth in the ICT sector over the last decade mainly due to massive growth in coverage extensions, broadband speeds, as well as user subscriptions.
The report also states that over the next few decades, there will be a need to upgrade and modernise the mobile networks to support the shift to smartphones. The need for fiber broadband networks and the demand by both corporations and the general public for superfast fiber access at national levels have emerged as urgent priorities to keep pace with global developments, and this will require major financial investment. It is anticipated that in the near to medium term, ICT will continue to lead the growth and improvement in infrastructure development, as captured by the AIDI scores.
The AIDI serves a number of purposes, chief of which is to monitor and evaluate the status and progress of infrastructure development across the continent, the number one priority being to “light up and power Africa.”
The Bank’s key role in catalyzing resources from development partners and from the private sector through its own participation in projects and programs in this sector, will also boost investment levels.