De la continentalité à l'Etat enclavé : circulation et ouvertures littorales des territoires intérieurs de l'ouest africain

Jean Debrie 1
1 CIRTAI-IDEES - Centre interdisciplinaire de recherche en transports et affaires internationales
IDEES - Identités et Différenciation de l'Environnement des Espaces et des Sociétés
Abstract : Sahelian State are often said to be landlocked. According to some stereotypical conceptions of marginal lands, the inland position may be considered as an additional negative factor for economic development. The inland position of West Africa, which in the past used to be a central situation, has become a peripheral one: it encloses the area and excludes it from major relations at a global level. Our choice to study a inland circulation allowing coastal opening proposes a view on this land locking. The public authorities have built up, within West Africa, which is in fact an international area, instruments of a circulation that establishes relations between inland national territories and littoral interface. However, this answer does not seem to be relevant enough. Technical, political and economical constraints lead to a process of discontinuities. Being landlocked corresponds to a system of distances in which land operators are moved away from some perspectives. In reality, these landlocked areas are not enclosed. The backers' and the private operators' current strategies tend to modernize selected major lines and through the latter the territories are connected to global networks. Inland territories are then reshaped and manage to reduce the fracture between inland and maritime countries. This fracture is often overcome and it may even become an opportunity in the case of West African circulation. Inland areas being landlocked are not definitively enclosed. It is just a relative situation which results from some permanent discontinuities the different political authorities have not cancelled.
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Jean Debrie. De la continentalité à l'Etat enclavé : circulation et ouvertures littorales des territoires intérieurs de l'ouest africain. Géographie. Université du Havre, 2001. Français. ⟨tel-00011321⟩

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