According to World Bank estimates, Africa needs to spend $38 billion more each year on transport infrastructure, plus a further $37 billion on operations and maintenance to sustain its current levels of development. A significant financing deficit lies between Africa's reality and the mobility that it both needs and aspires to. Only a third (34%) of Africa's population is within 2 kilometres of an all-weather road.
This is more than just a mobility issue. Road accidents are the continent’s third biggest killer, making this also an issue of public health.
East Africa’s Lake Victoria basin is the most densely populated rural area in the world, home to 35 million people. Life-saving cargo such as blood packs, critical medication, anti-venom, or spare parts for hospital machines often cannot reach those who need them in sufficient time. The high cost of transportation also means that local producers have difficulty in getting their products and produce to market, particularly perishable goods.
The Lake Victoria Challenge
The Lake Victoria Challenge (LVC) explores the potential of unlocking Africa’s lower skies as a mobility resource. Envisioned to be the first event of its kind in Africa, it focuses on emerging transport technologies that can leapfrog the continent’s infrastructure deficit and address its public health and mobility challenges with a visionary, safe and scalable solution.
Read more about the Lake Victoria Challenge
Cover photo credit: Chris Morgan (Fundi Films)/World Bank