The Development Theory of Transportation Infrastructure Examined in the Context of Central and West Africa

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Airports, Central Africa, Developing countries, Inland transportation, Navigable waterways, Roads, Rural transportation, Railways, Sub-Saharan Africa, Transportation infrastructure, West Africa

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The study sought to test the tenability of the hypothesis of a positive link between transportation infrastructure and development in the context of less developed countries (LDCs). The west and central Africa region, comprising twenty-four contiguous countries, constitutes the empirical referent. Two main forms of the generalized linear model, including zero-order and multiple regression involving natural logarithms and assuming the classic Cobb-Douglas production function, are employed. Development, the dependent variable, is operationalized in terms of the Human Development Index (HDI) and Growth National Income per capita (GNI/Cap). The independent variables include the different major forms of transportation infrastructure (roads, rail, airports, seaports, waterways, and pipelines). The results show a strong positive relationship between transportation infrastructure and development. Not only does this revelation conform to the findings of previous studies in more developed countries (MDCs), it suggests that the link between transportation infrastructure and development may actually be stronger in LDCs than in MDCs.

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The Review of Black Political Economy, v. 36, art. 227