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Jackson Ukuevo of Ronchess Global Resources Ltd Stresses the Need for Transport Infrastructure Investment to Support Economic Growth in Africa

Despite its abundance of natural resources and human capital, Africa remains a continent of developing countries, still struggling to realize its enormous potential despite pockets of robust economic growth. One of the main hurdles before this vastly promising region is the lack of sufficient infrastructure investment, which is not always the result of funding deficiencies, as noted in a recent publication by influential consultancy group McKinsey. “The development of strong and sustainable infrastructure assets is vital for any country, arguably even more so for the nations of Africa,” says experienced entrepreneur Jackson Ukuevo, the founder and managing director of Ronchess Global Resources Limited. “Reliable electricity grids, water supply systems, telecommunication links, and transportation networks not only improve people’s quality of life but also promote business growth and overall economic expansion. While each infrastructure class is critically important for individual countries, it is through investment in transportation assets that Africa as a whole can truly realize its potential and become a major contributor to global economic growth.”

In Nigeria, where Ronchess Global Resources Limited is based, policymakers and business leaders agree that inadequate road infrastructure development poses a key challenge to building a prosperous economy, Jackson Ukuevo points out. This is even more of an issue in other African countries, especially in light of the continent’s staggering population growth and rapid urbanization. However, these trends also present opportunities for economic improvement as long as the necessary infrastructure is put in place, thus allowing Africa to benefit in full from its youthful labor force and natural resources, Jackson Ukuevo adds.

The same argument features prominently in a report published by the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) and the African Center for Economic Transformation (ACET). According to the publication, “Urbanization is an opportunity for Africa’s economic development because it generates economies of agglomeration, stemming from a reduction in transport costs, thereby allowing for a cheaper exchange of goods, services, people, and knowledge. However, if cities do not provide the necessary public goods, including infrastructure, their rapid growth can also lead to congestion and poor sanitary conditions. […] Moreover, stronger urban-rural linkages are required to provide better access to jobs and social infrastructure that can improve labor productivity and well-being, as well as reduce poverty and income inequality.”

Africa’s prospects have improved sharply since 2018 with the agreement to establish the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA). The pact, whose implementation began on January 1, 2021, has created the world’s largest free trade area in terms of participant countries and is expected to galvanize the region’s economy through promoting tariff-free intra-continental commerce. However, its success will depend heavily on adequate investment in infrastructure, Jackson Ukuevo notes. According to the OECD/ACET report, “In particular, transport infrastructure that facilitates local, national, and regional linkages will be crucial for fostering trade across the continent. It is also critical for enhancing the connectivity of the many landlocked African countries to the sea. As such, transport infrastructure can increase productivity, reducing Africa’s prohibitively high transport, logistics, and materials costs, and can thereby improve the competitiveness of African firms. This, in turn, will be essential for their integration into global value chains, which could also play an important role in the continent’s economic transformation.”

Jackson Ukuevo is the founder and managing director of Ronchess Global Resources Limited – a Lagos, Nigeria-based provider of traffic solutions, construction, and procurement services currently building and constructing seven major roads and two major bridges in Kaduna state. Leading the company since its foundation in 2008, the seasoned entrepreneur and infrastructure specialist has relied on impeccable service quality and commitment to transform Ronchess Global Resources Limited into the partner of choice for enterprises well beyond his home country. Under the supervision of Jackson Ukuevo, the business has grown into a market-leading organization with multi-million-dollar revenues and a workforce of more than 350 people.

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