En Afrique, les coûts de transport et de fret sont les plus élevés au monde, les dépenses de logistique de fret étant plus de 50% plus élevées par kilomètre qu'en Europe ou aux États-Unis. Ce surcoût est dû à un «manque de logistique»: un manque d’infrastructure, de technologie et d’expertise affectant tout, des réseaux routiers aux systèmes de paiement et aux entrepôts. Dans les pays enclavés comme le Rwanda, l'Ouganda, le Soudan du Sud, la Zambie et le Mali, entre autres, cet écart est encore plus marqué: les coûts de transport peuvent atteindre jusqu'à 75% de la valeur des exportations.
Suivez mon histoire ci-dessous pour brosser un tableau de la logistique en Afrique aujourd'hui
Two young boys are enjoying Cadbury Chocolate in Kigali, Rwanda.
The chocolate is imported, so 45% of its cost is due to transport and allied costs. It might have been made in the United Kingdom or America, and it has travelled thousands or millions of kilometres and several borders. So whichever of the boys bought that treat, he’s paying part of the already high freight clearance charges, handling charges, insurance, fuel costs and the salary of the trucker who got it to the Rwandan capital.
Logistics is a critical yet easily neglected component of economic development.
Investment in agriculture or manufacturing is futile if there is no efficient and effective supply chain in place to get products to the market. Essential medication is rendered ineffective if it cannot be transported in the appropriate conditions. Consumer goods cannot improve people’s lives if the cost of importing them means they are too expensive for people to access. Yet in discussions of “sustainable development goals” or “poverty reduction”, there is too often a tendency to focus on headline targets and forget about the mechanics of delivery.
In Africa, transport and freight costs are the highest in the world, with freight logistics expenditure being more than 50% higher per kilometre than in Europe or the United States. This extra high cost is caused by a ‘logistics gap’, a lack of infrastructure, authorities' inefficiency to collaborate, lack of advanced technology and expertise affecting everything from road networks, to payment systems and warehousing facilities. In landlocked countries like Rwanda, Uganda, South Sudan, Zambia, and Mali among others, this gap is even more pronounced: transport costs there can reach as high as 75% of the value of exports.
These high costs have a significant impact on the lives of people living in the region. Transportation expenses are passed on to small businesses and consumers, it’s estimated that logistics costs account for 40% of consumer prices in Africa.
Added to this are the large numbers of small business owners unable to grow their companies because of the high overheads connected with distributing or sourcing their goods.
In order for Africa’s exports (finished products) to compete in the global marketplace, businesses operating in the region need to have reliable flows of inventories such as raw materials or finished goods, without which businesses need to carry higher levels of inventory to deal with uncertainty. This raises costs, erodes efficiency and results in poor competitiveness and high prices.
We citizens of Africa, call upon all concerned stakeholders to prioritize the Logistics industry in their Vision action plan for the African Continent.
How are you willing to engage your national authorities to wake up to the call of prioritizing the logistics industry to future economic prosperity?