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Future in chains - socio-economic impacts of growth corridors

Research team:
University of Cologne: Prof. Dr. Peter Dannenberg, Prof. Dr. Revilla Diez, Gideon Hartmann (M.Sc.), Carolin Hulke (M.Sc), Linus Kalvelage (M.Sc)
Collaboration partners: Prof. Dr. Becker (University of Namibia), D. Yeyoo Kim (Stellenbosch University, South Africa), Dr. Bandiho (Saint Augustine University, Tanzania), Dr. Massanja (Saint Augustine University, Tanzania)

Duration: 2018 - 2021

Funded by: Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG)

Project description


Growth corridors are classic instruments for implementing visions of economic development. They are widely conceived as a catalyst of regional economic integration of rural peripheral areas into Global Value Chains and Global Production Networks through providing "hard infrastructure" such as roads, railways or ports. Nonetheless, the outcomes of these spatial initiatives are yet far from being understood: Critics argue that growth corridors increase conflicts, external dependencies, land rush, exclusion, and polarization of wealth. This project therefore aims to shed light on the desired and undesirable regional socio-economic effects of such development initiatives by the examination of two cases: the Walvis Bay-Ndola-Lubumbashi Development Corridor (WBNLDC) through the transnational KAZA conservation area in Namibia and the Southern Agricultural Growth Corridor of Tanzania (SAGCOT). Research will focus on two distinct value chains highlighted in the corridor programs: commercial tourism and staple crop production. The comparison of these perspectives allows drawing conclusion on divergent visions of the future by local farmers and touristic businesses, national policy makers and multinational enterprises. Furthermore, the project explicitly integrates non-participants of the two chosen value chains and discusses outcomes for the rural population, leaning on recent development and Global Production Network critical debates.

The project is conducted within a wider multi-disciplinary research team of the collaborative research center "Future Rural Africa: Future-making and social-ecological transformation" by the Universities of Bonn and Cologne. For more information, visit the project website: https://www.crc228.de.