The development community is increasingly in agreement that providing adequate hard infrastructure (i.e., capital-
intensive infrastructure such as rural telecommunications, electrification, and rural roads) is an important step in the process of alleviating poverty and providing a more equitable set of opportunities for citizens in developing countries. In infrastructure development, Africa has lagged behind the Western Hemisphere for centuries, even trailing Latin America in recent decades.This has
normally been attributed to geography and the initial condition of AfricaвЂ™s infrastructure. Disease, internal distances, and
sparse population have been important factors as well.