Transport cost constitutes between 30% and 50% of the value of African exports and this is negatively affecting their competitiveness on the local and international markets, says an international survey released on Wednesday in Paris.
Jointly conducted by the African Development Bank (AfDB), the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) and the UN Economic Commission for Africa (ECA), the survey reveals that transport costs are as high as three-quarters of the value of exports in landlocked African countries.
“Transports costs in Africa are among the highest in the world, which obviously hinder competitiveness in local and international markets,” according to the survey.
It notes that comparatively, transport costs represent, in exports value, only 17% in developing countries.
“The inadequacy of infrastructure is a huge obstacle to trade, competitiveness and sustainable development in most African countries, especially in case of landlocked countries or islands.”
Because of high transport costs, Africa in 2010 exported only about US$95 billion of manufactured products as against a volume of imports three times higher.
Under the aegis of the New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD), the continent has launched an extensive road infrastructure building programme to speed up intra-African trade and reduce the transport costs of goods.