Duality by Design: The Global Race to Build Africa's Infrastructure

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This book starts from the idea that there is much to learn about the design of new forms
of organising, theoretically and empirically, by examining a phenomenon central to the global
order: Africa´s struggle to bridge a growing gap between supply and demand for basic
infrastructure. A gap linked, amongst other factors, to the rapid growth of the continent’s
population, projected to reach forty percent of the world’s population by 2100.1 Infrastructure
is a vast class of long-lived, capital-intensive technologies that input into a wide range of
productive processes that generate positive externalities and social surplus. Whether it is
about transport – airports, railways and roads; utilities – power, water, sanitation and
telecoms; or social assets – social housing, schools and hospitals, most infrastructures are
common resources shared, in use, by many people and organisations. This is the fundamental
attribute that makes infrastructure technology a source of broad value creation and
appropriation.2 This attribute also explains the role of infrastructure technology in enabling
economic growth, social development and in preparing societies for climate change. So it is
incumbent on those who provide assistance to development, and on the African states
themselves, to bridge the gap in basic infrastructure. Failure to act, and to make Africa a
better place to live and work, will saddle future generations with a major bottleneck to global
sustainable development. Africa´s struggle is our struggle.
Original languageEnglish
PublisherCambridge University Press
Number of pages45
ISBN (Electronic)9781108562492
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 2019


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