Accepted paper:

Great Wall of Lagos: West Africa's future 'gateway'


Elizabeth Cobbett (University of East Anglia)

Paper short abstract:

The Great Wall of Lagos creates a new urban space built on land reclaimed from the Atlantic Ocean. Known as Eko Atlantic city, this area is designated as a future business hub and financial centre. This paper examines the development of Lagos as financial and economic gateway to West Africa.

Paper long abstract:

The aim of this paper is to assess the impact of China in Lagos with special reference to the development of the megacity as a gateway to West Africa. This paper asks whether China's role in developing Lagos as gateway to Africa is limited to involvement in Lekki Free Trade Zone (LFTZ). LFTZ is part of China's strategy to use free trade zones for rapid economic development both at home and in Africa. Yet Lagos is more than an industrial hub, it is also Nigeria's financial, commercial and industrial hub, housing the Nigeria Stock Exchange, Central Bank of Nigeria and the Security and Exchange Commission. A few decades ago Lagos was not on the global map, it is now being positioned as a key node in global economic and capital systems. The new development of Eko Atlantic, built inside the Great Wall of Lagos which has create new urban space, is expected to underpin the metropolis' role as financial epicentre of West Africa. The argument being put forward is that the gateway strategy in Lagos is being driven at the regional/local level by the Lagos state.

panel P001
Hubs, Gateways and Bottlenecks - New Transport Infrastructures and Urbanities Respacing Africa I