African Countries With the Best Quality Roads 

According to the World Economic Forum’s  Global Competitiveness Report (Road quality index 2016 – 2017)  we can compare the nations with the best road quality and connectivity. According to this research, the United Arab Emirates has the best road quality in the world, followed by Singapore and Switzerland . When it comes to the extent and condition of their roadways, these countries are unrivaled, with all ratings between 6.4 and 6.2 out of 7.

The World Economic Forum is a non-profit foundation based in Geneva, Switzerland. The foundation is recognized by Swiss authorities as an international institution for public-private cooperation, with the purpose of “committed to improving the state of the world by engaging business, political, academic, and other leaders of society to shape global, regional, and industry agendas”.

Many African economies have grown significantly in recent years. This growth could have been even greater if the countries involved had appropriate transportation infrastructure in place; however, over the last 15 years, the road sector in Africa has made the most progress in both institutional and financing terms, particularly with the establishment of road agencies and road funds financed, in many countries, through fuel levies, so that 80 percent of Africa’s main road network is now considered to be in either good or fair condition.

According to the report, Namibia is the country with the best roads in Africa, followed by South Africa and Rwanda. My postings on Africa, such as Wealthiest African countries by Overall GDP and Top 5 strongest Armies in Africa 2022, are among the most popular on this site.

Top 5 African Countries With the Best Quality Roads 

1. Namibia (score 5.2) is ranked 23rd in the world.

Namibia has some of Africa’s best roads. The Namibian government institution in charge of roads is known as the Roads Authority (RA), and it  confirmed its continuous distinction as having the best road infrastructure on the African continent. According to the World Economic Forum’s (WEF) Quality of Road Infrastructure Report , this is the case. Namibia’s road infrastructure quality remains the highest in Africa, with a score of 5.2 out of 7, beating out South Africa and Rwanda, both of which scored 5.0.

Namibia has won the World Economic Forum’s African road quality award for the past five years in a row. It is now rated number 23 in the world, overtaking economic behemoths such as China, India, and Italy, which are ranked 42, 46, and 56, respectively.

Namibia’s roads are free of potholes and cut throughout the nation; even unpaved roads are smooth. They not only have decent roads, but also side walkways, clean streets, and beautiful buildings of high quality. The government has made significant investments in road infrastructure and has a specialized team of road managers. There is a tight performance management system in place that strives to meet key performance indicators at all times. One advantage of having good roads is that it lowers overall transportation costs.

Namibia’s success is credited to two key factors: a regular maintenance plan on existing road infrastructure, which plays a critical role in extending its lifespan, and the upgrading and building of new roads, which greatly improve the quality of the roads. Since its inception in April 2000, the Roads Authority has played an important role in Namibia’s socioeconomic growth, particularly in the progress of previously ignored parts of our nation.

2. South Africa (score 5.0) is ranked 29th in the world.

South Africa’s road network is the largest and most connected in Sub-Saharan Africa, spanning over 750,811 kilometers. Naturally, such a vast road network necessitates the supervision of multiple government agencies at various levels, each of which is in charge of maintaining, repairing, and creating new road infrastructure. While the South African National Roads Agency (SANRAL) oversees all major highways, provincial and regional ministries oversee provincial and regional routes, and local governments oversee minor urban roads that connect the national and regional networks.

In Southern Africa, roads have an impact on all elements of development. Businesses rely on excellent roads to transport their goods, industry relies on good roads to supply equipment, and individuals rely on decent roads to go from their homes to their employment and elsewhere in the region.

The road network in South Africa is relatively strong in comparison to other regions of Africa. According to the WEF report, South Africa is ranked second in Africa, behind Namibia. However the  state of the provincial road network has been steadily declining  since the early 1990s, owing to a variety of factors including reduced financial allocations for roads and the public sector’s diminishing project production.

 According to Frost & Sullivan, more than half of the country’s unpaved road network (54%) is in poor to very bad condition, while roughly a third of the paved network (30%) is in  very poor shape.

3. Rwanda (score 5.0) is ranked 31st in the world.

Rwanda transport development agency (RTDA), a government organization under the Ministry of Infrastructure, is responsible for the success of Rwanda’s road infrastructure.

Most of Rwanda’s major cities are now connected by paved roads, this is because of the recent government program of upgrading and resurfacing, which has resulted in the majority of important roads being in good condition.The Rwandan road network is classified into the categories below.

  • National Roads: International roads that connect Rwanda with neighboring countries, roads that link Districts or a District and the City of Kigali, and roads that link tourist attractions with national or international infrastructure such as ports and airports.
  • Districts and City of Kigali roads and that of other urban areas – Class 1: Roads linking different Sectors‟ headquarters within the same District, or those roads that are used within the same Sector.
  •  Districts and City of Kigali roads and that of other urban areas – Class 2: Arterial roads that connect Districts roads to rural community centres that are inhabited as an agglomeration. 
  •  Specific Roads: Roads constructed to connect national roads or District roads to Kigali City and other urban areas to the centres for private sector’s activities such agricultural production, natural resources processing or to tourist sites.

4. Côte d’Ivoire (score 4.7) is ranked 42 in the world.

Ivory Coast has made significant investments in its transportation system. Despite a crisis that has hampered maintenance and expansion, transportation infrastructure in Ivory Coast is far more developed than in other West African countries. Since gaining independence in 1960, Ivory Coast has prioritized expanding and updating its transportation network for both people and cargo. Major road infrastructures have been funded, which explains its current WEF 4th ranking among African countries with good quality roads.

According to government figures, Côte d’Ivoire had a total of 82,000 km of roads in 2015, of which 6500 km were paved; however, this remained a significant impediment to economic growth that had opened up new opportunities for the development of domestic industries and attracted foreign direct investment; Côte d’Ivoire’s land transport networks were feeling the pressure and the government later  authorized a new €5.7 billion road construction plan that would be  implemented between 2016 and 2020. A number of road extension and renovation projects were assessed and implemented to handle rising traffic volumes, enhance connectivity between urban and rural regions, and ease the link between the country’s hinterland and its marine ports.

5. Mauritius (score 4.7) is ranked 44th in the world.

Mauritius’ overall infrastructure is well-developed. Roads are maintained in good condition, with 1,834 kilometers  paved out of a total of 1,910 kilometers . By 2000, the road system could handle the country’s traffic volume. Cars are owned by less than one-tenth of the population. In Mauritius, there are no railways. Bus public transportation is reliable and efficient.

Top 10 African countries with the best quality roads

  1. Namibia (score 5.2) is ranked 23rd in the world.
  2. South Africa (score 5.0) is ranked 29th in the world.
  3. Rwanda (score 5.0) is ranked 31st in the world.
  4. Cote d’Ivoire (score 4.7) is ranked 42 in the world.
  5. Mauritius (score 4.7) is ranked 44th in the world.
  6. Morocco (score 4.4) is ranked 55th in the world.
  7. Kenya (score 4.2) is ranked 61 in the world.
  8. Botswana (score 4.1) is ranked sixth in the world.
  9. Cape Verde (score 4.1) is ranked 66th in the world.
  10. Senegal (score 4.0) is ranked 71 in the world.

Source – World Economic Forum competitive report:  Road quality index

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