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Department of Anthropology

Academic Staff

Publication details for Professor Gina Porter

Porter, G. (2012). Reflections on a century of road transport developments in West Africa and their (gendered) impacts on the rural poor. EchoGéo 20(April-June 2012): 1-14.

Author(s) from Durham


This paper explores broad trends in road construction and associated transport services development in two West African countries, Ghana and Nigeria, over the last hundred years and considers their impact on the rural poor, with particular reference to rural women. It draws on diverse evidence, including twentieth century colonial archives, personal ethnographic field research undertaken over a 35- year period, associated quantitative surveys, and relevant secondary literature. Following an outline of each major phase in transport development, an assessment is made of its impacts on the rural poor, with particular reference to women. The study concludes with a review of recent donor policy shifts and the prospects for positive change.