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Trends in household coverage of modern infrastructure services in Africa

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  • Banerjee, Sudeshna
  • Diallo, Amadou
  • Foster, Vivien
  • Wodon, Quentin

Abstract

Household surveys have long been used to estimate poverty and inequality trends, as well as trends in education and health indicators, but they have not been used to the same extent to assess trends in the access to or coverage of modern infrastructure services. In this paper, we use Demographic and Health Surveys from a larger sample of sub-Saharan African countries in order to collect comparable information across countries on coverage of piped water, flush toilets, electricity, and landline telephones over time. The results suggest that coverage rates for electricity, flush toilets have improved slightly over the last decade. Coverage of piped water has declined, at the same time as coverage of landline (as well as cellular) telephone has increased rapidly. The decline has been primarily in the urban areas while the infrastructure coverage has either increased or remained stable in rural Africa. For all four services, among the poorest households coverage remains virtually inexistent. If business as usual continues, it would take a very long time to reach universal or widely shared coverage even in countries where coverage has improved. These results point to the need to increase efforts by governments and international community to progressively increase access to modern infrastructure services in Africa.

Suggested Citation

  • Banerjee, Sudeshna & Diallo, Amadou & Foster, Vivien & Wodon, Quentin, 2009. "Trends in household coverage of modern infrastructure services in Africa," Policy Research Working Paper Series 4880, The World Bank.
  • Handle: RePEc:wbk:wbrwps:4880
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. repec:ebl:ecbull:v:15:y:2007:i:11:p:1-11 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. Kristin Komives & Vivien Foster & Jonathan Halpern & Quentin Wodon, 2005. "Water, Electricity, and the Poor : Who Benefits from Utility Subsidies?," World Bank Publications, The World Bank, number 6361, April.
    3. Komives, Kristin & Whittington, Dale & Wu, Xun, 2001. "Infrastructure coverage and the poor : the global perspective," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2551, The World Bank.
    4. Estache, Antonio, 2004. "Emerging infrastructure policy issues in developing countries - a survey of the recent economic literature," Policy Research Working Paper Series 3442, The World Bank.
    5. Quentin Wodon & Amadou Bassirou Diallo, 2007. "Demographic Transition Towards Smaller Household Sizes and Basic Infrastructure Needs in Developing Countries," Economics Bulletin, AccessEcon, vol. 15(11), pages 1-11.
    6. César Calderón & Luis Servén, 2004. "The Effects of Infrastructure Development on Growth and Income Distribution," Working Papers Central Bank of Chile 270, Central Bank of Chile.
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    Blog mentions

    As found by EconAcademics.org, the blog aggregator for Economics research:
    1. Infrastructure and Poverty: Part 2 – Are Household Needs Being Met?
      by Rotarian Economist in Rotarian Economist on 2014-11-16 17:00:12

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    Cited by:

    1. Somik Vinay Lall & J. Vernon Henderson & Anthony J. Venables, 2017. "Africa's Cities," World Bank Publications, The World Bank, number 25896, April.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Town Water Supply and Sanitation; Population Policies; Urban Water Supply and Sanitation; Urban Slums Upgrading; Urban Services to the Poor;

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