On the coloniality of 'new' mega-infrastructure projects in East Africa

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Authors

Colleges, School and Institutes

External organisations

  • University of Sheffield
  • The Aga Khan University

Abstract

This article responds to a preference for short-term history in research on the infrastructure turn by engaging with the longue durée of East Africa’s latest infrastructure scramble. It traces the history of LAPSSET in Kenya and the Central Corridor in Tanzania, revealing the coloniality of new and improved transport infrastructure along both corridors. This exercise demonstrates how the spatial visions and territorial plans of colonial administrators get built in to new infrastructure and materialise in ways that serve the interests of global capital rather than peasant and indigenous peoples being promised more modern, prosperous futures. The article concludes by suggesting that a focus on the longue durée also reveals uneven patterns of mobility and immobility set in motion during the colonial scramble for Africa and reinforced after independence. These “colonial moorings” are significant as they shape political reactions to new mega-infrastructure projects today and constrain the emancipatory potential of infrastructure-led development.

Details

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)101-123
Number of pages23
JournalAntipode
Volume52
Issue number1
Early online date31 Oct 2019
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2020

Keywords

  • Central Corridor, LAPSSET, Coloniality, Infrastructure, Infrastructure-led development, Territorial design