Jean-Pierre Labuschagne, Deloitte
Jean-Pierre Labuschagne is the Deloitte Africa Lead for Infrastructure & Capital Projects and is based in Nairobi. He is an Infrastructure and Public Private Partnerships (PPPs) specialist and has been involved in various infrastructure and PPP advisory roles in both the public and private sectors, across a variety of African countries.
We spoke with him about where he sees the opportunities and challenges for Africa’s road sector.
What do you believe is the biggest opportunity in the development of roads and specifically, what opportunities are available for private sector investors?
A number of governments in the region are expanding their road building programmes, these range from converting dirt roads to all weather roads, upgrading and widening of existing roads and new roads (or road alignments). The drivers and funders behind these initiatives vary, some upgrades are due to damage by high rainfall, others increasing economic growth requires upgraded road networks to underpin a number of regional strategies in increasing the manufacturing bases of countries within the regions. Some of the roads are funded on budget and others are looking to pubic private partnership type arrangements.
What is the one element of road development that you believe is not given enough attention or focus?
Road and pedestrian safety, in a number of countries inadequate road signage and safety barriers contribute to a high accident rate and when this is combined with inadequate pedestrian facilities, like footbridges and sidewalks is a concern
What do you believe will be the development trends across Africa from a road development perspective?
There are number of rail programmes in the region trying to compete with freight transport, which will probably be a good thing in terms of reducing the cost of long-haul transport particularly to the land locked countries in the region, however local commuters and medium distance freight stand to benefit from the number of road upgrades particularly as incomes slowly increase bringing more people onto the roads, how city congestion will be affected is still an area of concern and city mobility will be facing increasing pressure to develop improved ways of traffic management to avoid traffic deadlock.
Jean-Pierre Labuschagne will be speaking on 30th October at the Road Infrastructure and Investment Congress in Nairobi in October.