By Edgar Pieterse & Ntone Edjabe

ISBN-10: 0981427286

ISBN-13: 9780981427287

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There is something important about the logic of the way in which the market operates, as an intensely mutable form. There’s something very material about the way that this market operates: small traders who are more than small traders, of shifting alliances that are made visible, of a form of visibility where people can watch, observe, see what’s going on, who’s dealing with whom. But that has to be serviced, so you have big trucks coming in and traffic. It becomes a densification by virtue of multiplying these trajectories in a way that’s partly symbolic, partly a kind of nerve center.

FdeB: Well, most of the time it was very quickly ejected and spent - kind of ejaculated, really, all over the place. Few were those who invested it in building, in houses, in plots of land. But some areas of certain neighborhoods in Kinshasa did witness a modest construction boom thanks to that kind of money. But already, when you talk about the capital of Kinshasa, the question immediately is, The capital for whom? or who defined what the capital is, and who has access to it? In Dakar, it was merely a discussion of where should it be.

You allow us to bring our engineering teams, our staff, our personnel; you allow us to evacuate particular kinds of resources, again using our infrastructure, then we will pay you for the right to have done that. Part of that payment is, once again, investment in infrastructure. This is a kind of connection that will have really massive implications. VR: Yes, that’s something that I want to hear more about, especially in the light our discussion about the operation of very low-end Chinese merchants or retailers in places like Douala and smaller towns in Africa - the ways in which they integrate themselves into local networks, markets, and economic flows, and so on.

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African Cities Reader by Edgar Pieterse & Ntone Edjabe


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