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The panel analyses the more or less invisible traces of development projects that did not become "real", were substantially delayed, or not implemented as planned.
The African continent is spotted by ruins of development and the sites of projects that never materialized. These "ghost projects" question the teleology of development and its unfulfilled promises. Dams that have been on the agenda for decades, roads that exist only on maps, canals without water - all these more or less invisible phenomena are traces of imagined futures that did not unfold, at least not as planned. This may be disappointing for the planners and developers, but not necessarily so for local populations, the people who would have been most affected if implementation had been completed. How do imagined futures influence contemporary practices of future-making, even if the original plans are not implemented? How common are these deviations from original plans, and what does this tell us about the creativity of future-making at local as well as national scales? How are such plans locally appropriated and filled with life? The panel invites contributions that investigate the history and significance of "ghost projects" in Africa based on empirical examples.
Accepted papers:Session 1 Saturday 3 June, 2023, -
Johannes Theodor Aalders (University of Bonn)
Yonatan N. Gez (Iscte - University Institute Lisbon)
Ronald Ndesanjo (University of Dar es Salaam) Linda Engstrom (Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences)
Elisabeth Schubiger (Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies Geneva)
Emma Minja (University of Bonn)
Christopher Schulz (University of St Andrews)