Limitations facing transport and communication in Africa

  • Some countries are landlocked and have no direct link to sea/ocean transport and international movement may be affected by political differences with countries they pass through.
Limitations facing transport and communication in Africa
Photo by Tomáš Malík on

  • Other countries face Limitations of topography with rugged relief e.g. mountains with steep slopes which affect road, railway transport .construction of transport lines is expensive.
  • Navigable rivers in Africa are few. Most rivers fluctuate in their volume seasonally thus making them not suitable for transport.
  • Most areas are uninhabited land e.g. semi-deserts and deserts –these areas are low in population and it is uneconomical to construct transport and communication facilities
  • The Thick vegetation; thick forests and swamps in most parts of Africa make it and expensive to construct transport facilities
  • Africa also faces the challenge of inadequate communication facilities like satellites and internet facility. International news is received through western media houses like CNN, BBC or Reuters. Some countries totally lack internet facilities.

  • Many countries have been bedeviled by recurrent civil wars which have resulted in mass destruction. For example, Burundi, Rwanda, DRC, Somalia and Mozambique.
  • Different railway and road systems caused by land fragmentation by the colonial governments. Infrastructural links in Africa are unconsolidated with railway lines differing in gauges and differing traffic laws on roads.
  • Inadequate capital to invest in the transport sector has hampered the improvement and maintenance of the roads and other facilities.
  • High fuel costs.
  • Language barrier.
  • Poor technology and shortage of skilled labour.

  • Political barriers; animosity between countries and political instability hinder cooperation.
  • Security. Increased terrorist activities.


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