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The Central African Republic's infrastructure : a continental perspective


  • Dominguez-Torres, Carolina
  • Foster, Vivien


Between 2000 and 2005, infrastructure contributed less than 1 percentage point to the Central African Republic's annual per capita GDP growth, despite substantial spending in the road sector. Raising the country's infrastructure endowment to that of the region's middle-income countries could boost annual growth by about 3.5 percentage points. The CAR has made significant progress in the transport, water, power, and information and communications technology (ICT) sectors. But the high cost of fuel, which raises transportation and energy costs, has been a vexing issue across all infrastructure sectors. The CAR's most pressing infrastructural challenge lies in the transport sector, which relies heavily on neighboring countries and could benefit from improved road conditions and enhanced performance at the port of Douala in Cameroon. In the power sector, the country suffers from a deteriorating infrastructure stock that it can no longer afford to maintain, and an inefficient and unreliable power supply. Additional challenges include a need for improved infrastructure in the water and sanitation and ICT sectors. Addressing the CAR's infrastructure challenges will require sustained expenditure of $346 million per year over the next decade. The nation already spends around $134 million per year on infrastructure, with $37 million a year lost to inefficiencies of various kinds. If those inefficiencies were fully eliminated, the country's annual infrastructure funding gap would be $183 million per year. Improvements in funding, coupled with the prospect of an economic rebound and prudent policies, could lift the country from its fragile state back to and beyond the prosperity standards it once enjoyed.

Suggested Citation

  • Dominguez-Torres, Carolina & Foster, Vivien, 2011. "The Central African Republic's infrastructure : a continental perspective," Policy Research Working Paper Series 5697, The World Bank.
  • Handle: RePEc:wbk:wbrwps:5697

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Banerjee, Sudeshna & Foster, Vivien & Ying, Yvonne & Skilling, Heather & Wodon, Quentin, 2010. "Cost recovery, equity, and efficiency in water tariffs : evidence from African utilities," Policy Research Working Paper Series 5384, The World Bank.
    2. Foster, Vivien & Steinbuks, Jevgenijs, 2009. "Paying the price for unreliable power supplies : in-house generation of electricity by firms in Africa," Policy Research Working Paper Series 4913, The World Bank.
    3. Banerjee, Sudeshna & Wodon, Quentin & Diallo, Amadou & Pushak, Taras & Uddin, Elal & Tsimpo, Clarence & Foster, Vivien, 2008. "Access, affordability, and alternatives: Modern infrastructure services in Africa," MPRA Paper 27740, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    4. Michael Faye & John McArthur & Jeffrey Sachs & Thomas Snow, 2004. "The Challenges Facing Landlocked Developing Countries," Journal of Human Development and Capabilities, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 5(1), pages 31-68.
    5. Yepes, Tito & Pierce, Justin & Foster, Vivien, 2009. "Making sense of Africa's infrastructure endowment : a benchmarking approach," Policy Research Working Paper Series 4912, The World Bank.
    6. Supee Teravaninthorn & Gaƫl Raballand, 2009. "Transport Prices and Costs in Africa : A Review of the International Corridors," World Bank Publications, The World Bank, number 6610, March.
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    1. World Bank, 2012. "Central African Republic Public Expenditure Review : Creating Fiscal Space to Transition Out of Fragility Through Growth and Poverty Reduction," World Bank Other Operational Studies 13239, The World Bank.

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    Transport Economics Policy&Planning; Town Water Supply and Sanitation; Energy Production and Transportation; Infrastructure Economics; E-Business;

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