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Transport infrastructure projects fuel economies in Africa and Middle East

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Investment in road and rail is helping to drive economies in the Middle East and Africa, according to a new report by Timetric’s Construction Intelligence Centre. Timetric estimates that US$791 billion of road and rail related projects are being planned or are underway in the 21 countries studied, with Nigeria accounting for US$108 billion of these projects.

According to the report, rail projects account for US$490 billion of the total projects valued, with large-scale rail and metro developments driving the second and third placed markets of Saudi Arabia and the UAE. The top 11 countries of Algeria, Iraq, Israel, Kuwait, Nigeria, Oman, Qatar, Republic of Guinea, Saudi Arabia, South Africa and the UAE account for US$645 billion (82%) of the total projects value.

Furthermore, major rail projects have been planned for Nigeria, Iraq and Qatar, with Iraq’s planned National Rail Network worth US$70 billion and Nigeria’s West Coast High Speed Rail worth US$59 billion. Qatar is undertaking an Integrated Rail Network worth US$43 billion. The largest value road developments were found in Algeria and Qatar, with high value projects including the US$11.2 billion East – West Highway Development in Algeria and the US$5 billion Qatar – Bahrain Causeway.

“Investment in railways and metro projects in the Middle East and Africa is outstripping road investment, with governments attracting large investment and participation from overseas, particularly from China in African countries where huge funding has been forthcoming,” said Neil Martin, Manager at Timetric CIC. “The US, following the efforts of Europe and China, is now promising more funding and participation in the development of infrastructure in African countries, as demonstrated by the August 2014 US summit with African heads of state, when large investment was pledged for the continent.”

Adapted from press release by Rosalie Starling

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