Ruhr Economic Papers

Ruhr Economic Papers #628

Infrastructure and Poverty in Sub-Saharan Africa – A Review

by Jörg Peters

RWI, 08/2016, 9 S./p., 8 Euro, ISBN 978-3-86788-730-4 DOI: 10.4419/86788730



This paper reviews the book “Infrastructure and Poverty in Sub-Saharan Africa” by Antonio Estache and Quentin Wodon. The authors summarize the political debate on infrastructure policy in Africa in a very compelling and knowledgeable way and make a convincing case for pro-poor subsidies. Yet, this review points out two reservations: The evidence on the welfare enhancing benefits of infrastructure investments is less conclusive than suggested in the book. The book also misses out on the recent technological developments that enable the provision of decentralized services, which might render classical network based infrastructure partly redundant in the future.

JEL-Classification: H54, O13, O18, L91

Keywords: Electrification; road infrastructure; water and sanitation; telecommunication

Published as:

Peters, J. (2017), Infrastructure and Poverty in Sub-Saharan Africa - A Review. Journal of Development Studies 53 (3): 460-462. DOI: 10.1080/00220388.2016.1233652