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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

Chapter:
(p.111) Three Infrastructure for the growing middle class in Africa
Source:
Infrastructure in Africa
Author(s):

Maurice Mubila

Tito Yepes

Publisher:
Policy Press
DOI:10.1332/policypress/9781447326632.003.0004

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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