Welcome!

News Feed Item

To Manage a Transnational Infrastructure Programme in Africa Is Difficult -- But Not Impossible

Despite the Challenges, Such an Ambitious Programme Can Succeed if Known Best Practices Are Deftly Deployed, According to a New Report From the World Economic Forum in Collaboration With BCG

ABUJA, NIGERIA -- (Marketwired) -- 05/07/14 -- Policy makers have high ambitions for regional infrastructure. In Africa, leading organisations set up the Priority Action Plan of the Programme for Infrastructure Development in Africa (PIDA PAP) in 2012, encompassing 51 programmes with an investment need of $68 billion. Such programmes can make a vital contribution to social and economic welfare by boosting intraregional trade, connecting landlocked countries to world markets, or encouraging the sharing of water resources across borders. Implementing such programs is far from easy, however.

"The management of any complex infrastructure programme -- a railway system, for instance, or an electricity production and distribution network -- is difficult enough within an individual country," says Philipp Gerbert, a senior partner at The Boston Consulting Group (BCG) and coauthor of the report. "With transnational programmes, the challenges can be tremendous, especially in Africa, owing to the continent's wide variations in languages, cultures, financial capacities, and maturity of public institutions."

PIDA PAP's original target date for completion, 2020, now appears unrealistic. The question is how PIDA PAP can ever be realised in its entirety. Potential answers are provided in a new World Economic Forum report on the African Strategic Infrastructure Initiative titled Managing Transnational Infrastructure Programmes in Africa--Challenges and Best Practices. The report, developed together with BCG, identifies the key hurdles to be overcome and presents a best-practice framework to guide policy makers, sponsors, and managers and to facilitate the delivery of transnational programmes on schedule, at cost, and at high quality.

Identifying the Challenges ...

The challenges relate to financing, to technical and regulatory alignments (agreeing on the gauge width of a cross-border railway network, for instance, or aligning national axis-load regulations), and to matters of governance and human relations. Things get really complex when you have to coordinate the responsibilities and processes across several countries and the risks posed by political changes are multiplied. So, too, are the delays caused by red tape. The difficulties might also have a historical dimension: a legacy of mistrust or even conflict can jeopardise cooperation between participating nations, and many countries lack a tradition of conducive environmental measures, such as enforcement of anticorruption laws and stringent regulations on public-private partnerships.

... and Overcoming Them

Having outlined these challenges, the report goes on to enumerate the best practices that have been brought to bear in response to them at the programme's various phases. They include: a joint strategic vision for regional infrastructure; a comprehensive cost-benefit analysis assessing the impact in all affected countries; the issuing of a single transnational concession rather than several intranational concessions; a precise allocation of the costs, risks, and benefits to the participating countries; a rigorous and transparent tendering process; harmonisation of regulations; and coordination of demand profiles and maintenance schedules. "This coordination is especially important where consumption and production are located in different countries," explains Tenbite Ermias, a partner at BCG and a coauthor of the report. "If a power plant in one country fails, the main victims might be in the neighbouring country, which can suffer from significant losses due to interruptions in production. Strong and enforceable coordination mechanisms are required to manage such situations."

Another key success factor is to institutionalise cross-border collaboration. The ideal is a strong programme-management unit, established through a special treaty between all the participating countries. Whether based on public or private resources or a mix of the two, it would oversee most of the phases of the programme, and coordinate all the stakeholders.

The relevance and applicability of the various best practices have to be determined on a programme by programme basis. Adopted and applied appropriately, they should remove roadblocks to the implementation of regional infrastructure programmes generally and help make PIDA a reality -- with all the benefits that will bring, such as improved public health, a boost in local prosperity, and greater regional integration.

A copy of the report can be downloaded at www.bcgperspectives.com.

To arrange an interview with one of the authors, please contact Eric Gregoire at +1 617 850 3783 or at [email protected].

About The Boston Consulting Group
The Boston Consulting Group (BCG) is a global management consulting firm and the world's leading advisor on business strategy. We partner with clients from the private, public, and not-for-profit sectors in all regions to identify their highest-value opportunities, address their most critical challenges, and transform their enterprises. Our customized approach combines deep insight into the dynamics of companies and markets with close collaboration at all levels of the client organization. This ensures that our clients achieve sustainable competitive advantage, build more capable organizations, and secure lasting results. Founded in 1963, BCG is a private company with 81 offices in 45 countries. For more information, please visit bcg.com.

About bcgperspectives.com
Bcgperspectives.com features the latest thinking from BCG experts as well as from CEOs, academics, and other leaders. It covers issues at the top of senior management's agenda. It also provides unprecedented access to BCG's extensive archive of thought leadership stretching back 50 years to the days of Bruce Henderson, the firm's founder and one of the architects of modern management consulting. All of our content -- including videos, podcasts, commentaries, and reports -- can be accessed by PC, mobile, iPad, Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.

More Stories By Marketwired .

Copyright © 2009 Marketwired. All rights reserved. All the news releases provided by Marketwired are copyrighted. Any forms of copying other than an individual user's personal reference without express written permission is prohibited. Further distribution of these materials is strictly forbidden, including but not limited to, posting, emailing, faxing, archiving in a public database, redistributing via a computer network or in a printed form.

Latest Stories
A strange thing is happening along the way to the Internet of Things, namely far too many devices to work with and manage. It has become clear that we'll need much higher efficiency user experiences that can allow us to more easily and scalably work with the thousands of devices that will soon be in each of our lives. Enter the conversational interface revolution, combining bots we can literally talk with, gesture to, and even direct with our thoughts, with embedded artificial intelligence, whic...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Cloudistics, an on-premises cloud computing company, has been named “Bronze Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Cloudistics delivers a complete public cloud experience with composable on-premises infrastructures to medium and large enterprises. Its software-defined technology natively converges network, storage, compute, virtualization, and management into a ...
Every successful software product evolves from an idea to an enterprise system. Notably, the same way is passed by the product owner's company. In his session at 20th Cloud Expo, Oleg Lola, CEO of MobiDev, will provide a generalized overview of the evolution of a software product, the product owner, the needs that arise at various stages of this process, and the value brought by a software development partner to the product owner as a response to these needs.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Tappest will exhibit MooseFS at SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. MooseFS is a breakthrough concept in the storage industry. It allows you to secure stored data with either duplication or erasure coding using any server. The newest – 4.0 version of the software enables users to maintain the redundancy level with even 50% less hard drive space required. The software func...
New competitors, disruptive technologies, and growing expectations are pushing every business to both adopt and deliver new digital services. This ‘Digital Transformation’ demands rapid delivery and continuous iteration of new competitive services via multiple channels, which in turn demands new service delivery techniques – including DevOps. In this power panel at @DevOpsSummit 20th Cloud Expo, moderated by DevOps Conference Co-Chair Andi Mann, panelists will examine how DevOps helps to meet th...
Most technology leaders, contemporary and from the hardware era, are reshaping their businesses to do software in the hope of capturing value in IoT. Although IoT is relatively new in the market, it has already gone through many promotional terms such as IoE, IoX, SDX, Edge/Fog, Mist Compute, etc. Ultimately, irrespective of the name, it is about deriving value from independent software assets participating in an ecosystem as one comprehensive solution.
SYS-CON Events announced today that EARP will exhibit at SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. "We are a software house, so we perfectly understand challenges that other software houses face in their projects. We can augment a team, that will work with the same standards and processes as our partners' internal teams. Our teams will deliver the same quality within the required time and budget just as our partn...
As DevOps methodologies expand their reach across the enterprise, organizations face the daunting challenge of adapting related cloud strategies to ensure optimal alignment, from managing complexity to ensuring proper governance. How can culture, automation, legacy apps and even budget be reexamined to enable this ongoing shift within the modern software factory?
SYS-CON Events announced today that delaPlex will exhibit at SYS-CON's @ThingsExpo, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. delaPlex pioneered Software Development as a Service (SDaaS), which provides scalable resources to build, test, and deploy software. It’s a fast and more reliable way to develop a new product or expand your in-house team.
With major technology companies and startups seriously embracing Cloud strategies, now is the perfect time to attend @CloudExpo | @ThingsExpo, June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY and October 31 - November 2, 2017, Santa Clara Convention Center, CA. Learn what is going on, contribute to the discussions, and ensure that your enterprise is on the right path to Digital Transformation.
SYS-CON Events announced today that A&I Solutions has been named “Bronze Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Founded in 1999, A&I Solutions is a leading information technology (IT) software and services provider focusing on best-in-class enterprise solutions. By partnering with industry leaders in technology, A&I assures customers high performance levels across all IT environments including: mai...
In his keynote at @ThingsExpo, Chris Matthieu, Director of IoT Engineering at Citrix and co-founder and CTO of Octoblu, focused on building an IoT platform and company. He provided a behind-the-scenes look at Octoblu’s platform, business, and pivots along the way (including the Citrix acquisition of Octoblu).
SYS-CON Events announced today that Systena America will exhibit at SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Systena Group has been in business for various software development and verification in Japan, US, ASEAN, and China by utilizing the knowledge we gained from all types of device development for various industries including smartphones (Android/iOS), wireless communication, security technology and IoT serv...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Outscale will exhibit at SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Outscale's technology makes an automated and adaptable Cloud available to businesses, supporting them in the most complex IT projects while controlling their operational aspects. You boost your IT infrastructure's reactivity, with request responses that only take a few seconds.
DevOps at Cloud Expo – being held October 31 - November 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA – announces that its Call for Papers is open. Born out of proven success in agile development, cloud computing, and process automation, DevOps is a macro trend you cannot afford to miss. From showcase success stories from early adopters and web-scale businesses, DevOps is expanding to organizations of all sizes, including the world's largest enterprises – and delivering real r...