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Regional Infrastructure Systems

The Political Economy of Regional Infrastructure

Colin Turner

As the international economy globalises, there is a need for national infrastructure systems to adapt to form a global infrastructure system. This network of networks aids mobility between national systems as a means of supporting their territorial needs and preferences. This reflects a strategic approach to state infrastructuring as nations seek to utilise these physical systems to support and enhance their territoriality. Providing a thorough examination through the lens of economic infrastructure, the book addresses the forces of integration and fragmentation in global networks.
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Chapter 4: The African infrastructure system

Colin Turner


Infrastructure developments in Africa tend to take a different form from those elsewhere in the global economy. In this region, the issue is less about infrastructure for regional integration than it is about promoting infrastructuring to enable the integration of these economies into the global economic system. Nonetheless, the African Union has attempted to promote regional infrastructures, often through the framework provided by the sub-regional economic communities. In part, this is fuelled by the relatively large number of landlocked states across the continent that are especially vulnerable to the absence of regional infrastructure systems. Overall, there appears to be little success in the creation of such systems, due to the fact that many states simply do not see regional systems as that important due to a mix of low trade volume and longstanding mutual mistrust. The chapter concludes with the impact that China is having on this regional system through its investment in Africa.

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