10 Megaprojects once completed will reshape Africa

Emmanuel Kwarteng August 23, 2022
The Pan African Heritage World Museum is being constructed in Ghana

The African continent is the second largest in the world with a population size of about 1.2 billion. The continent can boast rich human and natural resources. However, the continent is often described as underdeveloped. 

For the past years, various governments and business moguls across the continent have been doing their best in terms of infrastructural development to help change the narrative. In this article, Face2Face Africa shares light on the 10 biggest projects once completed will reshape the African continent positively. They are,

Photo: Embassy of Ethiopia

Ethiopia Renaissance Dam

The Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD), a gravity dam, formerly called the Millennium Dam, is being built in Ethiopia’s Benishangul-Gumuz region on the Blue Nile River.

The 6,000 MW dam’s construction started in 2011. Once it is finished, the $4.8 billion Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam will rank as the seventh-biggest hydroelectric power plant in the world and the largest in Africa. The reservoir will likely take five to fifteen years to fill with water, according to estimates.

GERD has been in construction for ten years and is almost done. Water management began filling the reservoir in 2020; this process could take several years to a decade, depending on the weather and how much of the Blue Nile’s flow is held back by the dam managers.

Photo: Bloomberg

Dangote Oil Refinery

Aliko Dangote, the richest man in Africa, is investing between $12 to $14 billion in the construction of a massive oil refinery in the Nigerian suburb of Ibeju Lekki. When it starts operating by the fourth quarter of 2022, the Dangote Oil Refinery will be one of the largest oil refineries in the world, able to handle 650,000 barrels of crude per day.

The Dangote Refinery also features a gas processor, the largest factory in the world for the production of ammonia and urea, which are used to make fertilizer and plastics, as well as a fertilizer factory that will utilize the by-products from the refinery as its raw materials. 

“When we finish this project, for the first time in history, Nigeria will be the largest exporter of petroleum products in Africa,” Dangote said in an interview with the Financial Times last year.

A picture taken from the Iconic Tower shows the construction site of the central business district (CBD) project in new administrative capital, Egypt. /Xinhua

Egypt’s New Capital City

Housing units in Egypt’s new administrative capital, which has yet to be given a name, have been built, but delivery won’t happen for another year until the installation of crucial infrastructure.

The smart city, 45 kilometers east of Cairo, is divided into 25 business and 21 residential areas. A recreation area twice the size of New York Metropolis’s Central Park, 90 square kilometers of solar energy farms, and a number of man-made lakes will all be present in the city.

There are also 2,000 educational facilities, 1,250 mosques, 663 hospitals and clinics, a technology park, 40,000 hotel rooms, an amusement park four times the size of Disneyland, and a new international airport, among other noteworthy amenities.

By the end of 2022, it is anticipated that the transfer of government departments, foreign embassies, the parliament, and presidential residences will cost $45 billion. The project’s entire cost has not yet been announced, but the metropolis is undoubtedly one of Africa’s largest megaprojects.

Photo: Konza Technopolis

Kenya’s Konza Technopolis

A significant flagship project of Kenya’s Vision 2030 economic development program is Konza (Konza Technopolis), previously known as “Konza Technology City”. Konza Technopolis, 64 kilometers south of Nairobi, was designed after the US Silicon Valley, earning it the nickname “African Silicon Savanna.”

The work process leasing, software development, data centers, business continuity centers, contact centers, light industrial sectors, and research facilities are the focus of the smart city. Konza has drawn a number of wealthy investors thus far, including a prestigious Korean institution.

Photo: YouTube

The Pan African Heritage World Museum project

The museum’s main objective is to collect and present the history of Africa utilizing African perspectives, resources, and traditions. The brilliant minds behind the project say that this is required because the African story has been shared by others for a very long time.

This museum is the most recent to be constructed on the continent, following those in Senegal, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and Nigeria. PAHM is situated in Winneba’s Pomadze Hills. About 60 km (40 miles) west of Accra, the capital of Ghana, is the 10-acre complex in the Central Region. The museum is expected to be completed by the end of 2022.

Photo: BBC

Grand Inga Dam

By far the largest building undertaking in Africa, the Grand Inga Dam is a prospective hydroelectric dam at Inga Falls on the Congo River in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. The dam is planned to produce 39,000 MW annually on average, roughly twice as much as China’s Three Gorges dam, making it the greatest hydroelectric project in the world.

Grand Inga Dam is anticipated to be $100 billion in cost, which includes the price of the transmission lines required to transport its power across the continent.

The project was supposed to have started in December 2016. However, due to differences over the project, the World Bank pulled its support in July of that year. If the Grand Inga project were to be finished, it would be the greatest hydroelectric power plant across the entire globe.

Lagos-Calabar Railway

Arguably one of the largest infrastructure projects in Africa is the 1,400-kilometer Lagos-Calabar railway, which will be constructed at a cost of $10 billion.

It was announced that Ameri Metro Inc., a U.S.-based corporation, was considering taking on the project after a Chinese company was unable to secure the necessary financing. 

The 1,402 kilometers of rail track, 22 stations with ancillary services, office space, and level crossings make up the Lagos-Calabar rail route. The laying of rails and electricity lines, as well as the installation of safety, electrical, lighting, and signaling systems, are some of the other jobs.

When finished, the Lagos-Calabar railway will link Port Harcourt, Uyo, and Aba, facilitating the movement of products and services throughout the area.

Photo: The Citizen

Bagamoyo Port

To become a continental economic powerhouse, Tanzania announced that it had started building an $11 billion mega port at the old Swahili town of Bagamoyo. 

Bagamoyo Port, which receives the majority of its funding from China, will be the biggest port in East Africa by 2045, handling 20 million containers annually.

Tanzania, China, and Oman are all participating in the project. The port is being built by the state-owned China Merchants Port, and a 1,700 acre special economic zone next to the port will be created by the Omani special purpose vehicle, officials stated.

Photo: The Presidency/Ghana

The National Cathedral of Ghana

The National Cathedral of Ghana will be a really enormous structure with a 750,000 square foot footprint and be located in the heart of Accra on 14 acres of beautiful gardens. Africa’s first Bible museum will be housed in the edifice designed by Adjaye Associates, which is led by Ghanaian-British architect and recent RIBA Royal Gold Medal winner David Adjaye. 

The building will have a 5,000-seat auditorium as well as chapels, an art gallery, and other amenities. Its curved ceiling is reminiscent of tented canopies and the Golden Stool, the Asante people’s throne of royalty, and is covered in iconography that combines Christianity and native Ghanaian traditions.

Other significant city landmarks will be connected to the cathedral through ceremonial paths. It is anticipated the project will generate at least $1.8 billion over five years, based on a conservative projection of 300,000 to 400,000 visitors annually.

Photo: Punch

The Mambila Hydroelectric Power Project

Nigeria is building a massive hydroelectric dam in an effort to increase its energy output. Sinohydro Corp. of China is building three dams across the Donga River in Taraba State, Nigeria, as part of the $5.8 billion Mambila Hydroelectric Power Project. 3,050 MW of energy will be installed throughout the site.

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