The Need For Logistics In Africa


In parts of the world lacking proper transportation services, people are faced with a multitude of problems. The development of any country or area depends quite a lot upon effective logistics. No matter how much you invest on growing crops, the end user will still have to pay a high amount for the food item due to inefficient transportation.

The Costs

Logistics in Africa are one of the most expensive throughout the world. Indeed, in some parts of the continent the freight costs per kilometer are around fifty percent higher than those in the USA and Europe. The condition is even worse in countries that are landlocked. In Rwanda, for instance, the transportation costs can be as high as approximately 75 percent of the total price of exports. These elevated costs result in elevated prices of the transported goods. This implies that a consumer in Africa has to pay for many more things apart from the good itself- the costs to do with fuel, tariffs, insurance, drivers’ salaries and much more.

Why is Transportation so Expensive?

The most prominent reason behind the amplified costs of transporting goods inside Africa is the lack of facilities associated with this field. The infrastructure and the technology available is too less and too inefficient to cater for the transportation requirements. Furthermore, people working in the field of logistics have a lack of necessary expertise. These three issue, when united, produce undesirable impacts on factors influencing transportation including payment systems, network of roads and storage facilities.

Other than that, the time taken for transporting items within the continent is too high. Let’s take the example of a 1600 kilometer journey from Mombasa (a city in Kenya) to Kigali (Rwanda’s capital city) takes around 422 hours. This value is equal to almost 18 days. The journey takes too long when compared to that between Rotterdam in Netherlands to Budapest in Hungary which does not even take a complete day. The longer the journey takes, the more stops there are and the more fuel is required. Furthermore, there are many road blocks to be countered on the way. All of this increases the cost of transportation, as well as the risks of the products being damaged.

A good and effective system of logistics is the need of the day for combating many issues prevailing in Africa. Whether the problem is high poverty or less market share of African exports around the globe, better transportation services can help in resolving it.

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