Infrastructure and Health System Performance in Africa


  • Uche Osakede Bowen University



Infrastructure, Population health, health system performance


Empirical findings for the effect of infrastructure on health system performance and across a range of infrastructure types in Africa are not common. This is important for ascertaining the infrastructure with more influence on health systems. Findings in this regard are vital in Africa where health systems perform poorly, with fiscal challenges for public provision of health care needs. This paper examined the effect of infrastructure types on health system performance in Africa using data for 54 countries in the region and over the period 2003–2018. Health system performance is captured by population health outcome. Findings are shown using the System GMM estimation technique. The results showed a significant effect of transport and ICT in improving the length of life and reducing under-five mortality. Improvement in ICT reduced maternal deaths. An increase in all infrastructure types (transport, electricity and ICT) significantly reduced infant mortality. From the results, only ICT is associated with improvement in all population health outcome variables used in the study. Findings suggest the key role of infrastructure on health system performance, with ICT shown to have more influence on health systems than other infrastructure types. The provision and use of ICT should therefore be given top priority in the pursuit of better health system performance in Africa.