Our collective understanding of the drivers of growth has evolved significantly over the last two decades (see box 2.1). Current theories and their empirical tests provided a strong case for an explicit recognition of infrastructure as an important driver of growth, and more so in the early stages of economic development. This should have been central to country strategies, including the PRSPs prepared by SSA countries since these were driving the allocation of resources across infrastructure sectors to sustain long-term development plans.1 Yet the treatment of infrastructure issues in PRSPs has long been very weak. More generally, despite some progress, the specific treatment of the key policy and institutional reforms that need to be put in place to ensure the effectiveness of infrastructure investments in terms of growth is still relatively weak. This chapter provides a brief overview of the way in which infrastructure is being addressed by the new “macropolicy” tools adopted by the development community and how infrastructure has been treated in country strategies including PRSPs to date.
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