On the influence of colonial legacies in environmental reform in West and Central Africa Ports

Published on
March 23, 2017

ENP colleagues Harry Barnes-Dabban, Kris Van Koppen and Arthur Mol just published an article on environmental reform in Africa in the Journal of Maritime Policy and Management. In the article they argue that understanding and advancing environmental reform processes of West and Central Africa ports requires following globalisation trends and significant developments but also taking into consideration national historical trajectories.

They compare environmental management processes of four West and Central Africa ports using three elements of ecological modernisation theory: 1) changing role of the state, 2) involvement of economic actors, and 3) new roles for civil societal organisations, as a sensitizing framework.

Their key finding is that flexible politico-administrative arrangements with enablement for inclusion of new actors and mechanisms are key to environmental reform progress of West and Central Africa ports. These arrangements shaped by colonial legacies are however beyond the influence of the ports. The article comes as part of a research project on ‘Environmental transformation of African ports’

You can find more information about Harry’s research project ‘Regional Environmental Governance: West and Central African Ports and the Network Society’ here.