It’s not all roses, though. Much of the road-building has been spearheaded by mining organizations desperate to lay their hands on the mineral deposits of Central Africa. Such developments aren’t very flexible in terms of routing, and sadly, many of the required roads storm straight through irreplaceable natural habitat. Add too that the natural environmental damage caused by building roads anywhere, not just in Africa, and the human risk created by the accidents that result from faster motor traffic, and there’s at least some cause for concern.
But in the relentless push for development, those downsides are far outweighed by the promise of improved trade, education, healthcare and, above all, prosperity. Africa’s plans for its new road infrastructure are storming along like the juggernauts that will end up using it-and it looks like little will be able to get in the way. [New Scientist]