Implications of Africa's Transportation Systems for Development in the Era of Globalization

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Colonial road-building, Colonial railways, Transportation planning, Economic development, Africa

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The paper identifies and discusses major implications of Africa's contemporary transport infrastructure for the continent's development in general and its active participation in the globalization process in particular. Initially it identifies and analyses major events in the evolution of the continent's modern transport systems. It is revealed that colonial authorities did the most to develop these systems. However, because the systems were designed to facilitate the extraction and transmission of products from the continent to the colonial master nations, they are deemed incapable of enhancing the active participation of African countries in the globalization process. In an effort to reverse this situation, a number of specific steps, including increasing the stock of all-season roads, regional integration, the promotion of intermodal transport facilities, and the adoption of safety measures in the transport sector, are proposed.

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The Review of Black Political Economy, v. 35, issue 4, p. 147-162