Africa is growing substantially in infrastructure projects and energy projects attributable to increased demand from the expanding middle class. Across the continent, sustainable social infrastructure initiatives are underway and do not appear to be slowing down anytime soon due to the growing population.
Here are five megaprojects currently in-progress across Africa.
Photo of model of the new capital courtesy of Amir Daftari
1.) New Capital City of Egypt
While a name has not yet been announced for the new administrative capital of Egypt, housing units have been constructed and key facilities are being built.
The smart city is 45 kilometers east of Cairo and consists of 25 commercial districts and 21 residential districts. Once complete, it will have artificial lakes, a vast solar energy farm, and a massive recreational park. It doesn’t stop there though– the new capital’s infrastructure will also feature a theme park four times larger than Disneyland, a technology park, a new international airport, as well as 2,000 educational institutions, 1,250 mosques, 663 clinics and hospitals, and approximately 40,000 hotel rooms.
The currently unnamed capital city has an undisclosed total cost, but the transfer of government ministries, foreign embassies, parliament, and presidential palaces is anticipated to cost $45 billion USD.
2.) Eskom Power Stations Transition
South Africa will receive a total of $8.5 billion USD (R131 billion) in grants and loans from the United States, Germany, France, and Britain to fund a move away from coal. The partnership to help South Africa transition away from coal faster is expected to serve as a model for other countries in the future.
Eskom, the South African state-owned power provider, plans to use its portion of the multi-billion dollar funding to speed up its new energy projects, André de Ruyter, CEO of Eskom, said.
South Africa is currently the world’s 12th largest emitter of climate-warming gases and is heavily reliant on old coal-fired power stations for electricity. This new funding will help assist in reducing emissions by 2030 and, according to what British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said at COP26 in Glasgow, the grants and loans will help move the world toward meeting climate targets by “choking off international finance for coal”.
Eskom aims to reduce its carbon footprint and achieve net-zero emission status by 2050 by taking advantage of the cheap production cost of solar photovoltaic power generation at its mines.
Initially, Eskom will construct solar photovoltaic facilities at its mining sites; installing energy storage sites will follow.
3.) De Beers Diamond Company – Namdeb & Debswana
Diamond company De Beers has partnerships with African countries in which their mines operate. For instance, Namdeb is the joint venture between De Beers and the government of Namibia, and Debswana is between De Beers and Botswana.
In October 2021, De Beers and the Namibian government signed a new business agreement that will last until 2042. Namdeb’s mines are a critical pillar of the country’s economy and the new deal keeps the JV’s land-based mines open and operating for an additional 20 years.
According to a statement from De Beers, extending the life of the Namdeb mine will generate an estimated $2.71 billion USD (N$40bn) for the country, from taxes, dividends and royalties, and has the potential to create 600 new jobs and produce eight million carats.
Meanwhile, in Botswana Debswana Diamond Company will spend $6 billion USD (65 billion pula) to build the world’s largest underground diamond mine at Botswana’s Jwaneng. The mining mega project will consist of more than 360 kilometers of tunnel development and is anticipated to reach full production by 2034.
The Jwaneng mine has been in operation since 1982, and has since been expanded many times. This diamond mine alone produced 7.5 million carats of De Beer’s 2020 output of 25.1 million carats.
4.) Kenya’s Konza Technology City
In an effort to attract investors and top technology talent to spur economic growth, Kenya has begun construction of a technology city in Machakos County at a cost of $14.5 billion USD.
The tech city located 64 kilometers from the capital Nairobi, is being modeled after California’s “Silicon Valley”, and has been nicknamed the “African Silicon Savanna” and “Konza Technopolis”.
The city’s construction and development is a flagship project of Kenya’s Vision 2030 economic development portfolio. Konza City will be a hub for business process outsourcing, software development, data centers, disaster recovery centers, call centers, light manufacturing industries, and research institutions.
5.) Dangote Oil Refinery – Nigeria
Once fully complete in 2022 or 2023, the Dangote oil refinery is expected to be Africa’s largest oil refinery and the world’s biggest single-train facility. The $19 billion USD Dangote oil refinery is a 650,000 barrels per day (bpd) integrated refinery and petrochemical project under construction in the Lekki Free Zone near Lagos, Nigeria.
The Dangote plant is anticipated to yield 327,000 bpd of gasoline; 244,000 bpd of diesel; 56,000 bpd of jet fuel/kerosene, as well as 290,000 mt per year of propane when fully operational.
In Summer 2021, the Nigerian government approved a bid by the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) to acquire a 20 percent stake in the Dangote mega project.
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