Business needs effective governments to provide the infrastructure on which to thrive. Logistics (including roads, rail, and ports), energy and communications (including internet access) are all vital. The poor quality of infrastructure in many African countries increases costs, putting African businesses at a competitive disadvantage relative to their global peers.

This in turn deters investment. That is self-evident, but two World Bank economists, Justice Tei Mensah and Nouhoum Traore, have recently dug into the data and calculated the impact of providing infrastructure. They looked specifically at how providing high-speed internet influences foreign direct investment (FDI)...

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