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Infrastructure in AfricaLessons for Future Development$
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Mthuli Ncube and Charles Leyeka Lufumpa

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9781447326632

Published to Policy Press Scholarship Online: September 2017

DOI: 10.1332/policypress/9781447326632.001.0001

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Infrastructure for the growing middle class in Africa

Infrastructure for the growing middle class in Africa

(p.111) Three Infrastructure for the growing middle class in Africa
Infrastructure in Africa

Maurice Mubila

Tito Yepes

Policy Press

Africa’s middle class and urban consumption are on the rise, presenting a major opportunity for industrialization. Urban development also creates demand for public infrastructure. In the absence of modern infrastructure services, the next best option would be to reach households with lower-cost, second-best solutions, such as standposts, improved latrines, or street lighting. However, significant challenges exist in increasing the coverage of second-best alternatives, particularly because their public good nature makes some of these technologies more difficult for service providers to operate on a commercial basis. Understanding the factors that lie behind this “missing middle” is important. On the demand side, the costs of the second-best alternatives may still be relatively high, given limited household budgets. On the supply side, their public good nature greatly complicates the implementation of second-best alternatives. Policy makers need to pay attention to infrastructure investments for the burgeoning middle class as a paramount endeavour.

Keywords:   middle class, infrastructure, urban consumption, industrialization, Africa

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