The new African development landscape is above all caracterized by the launch of many ambitious infrastructures projects. Dams, roads, ports are the powerful symbols of the return of developmental State in Afica. They reveal a shift from a form of “dematerialized” development, notably illustrated by the Good governance policies, to a “concrete” development. In many ways, this shift is accompanied by new emerging global powers, which often financially support these projects. Their support also expresses itself in ideological terms, while their own development models were primarly focused on infrastructures upgrading.
René Faustin BOBO BOBO focuses his work on this big scale infrastructure projects in Cameroon, particularly the deep sea port project in Kribi. His research project can be sum up as follow:
China, the construction of infrastructures and the question of development in Cameroon
Abstract: The return of the state of Cameroon on the scene of development appears in the context of the search for competitiveness, growth and legitimacy of political authorities at an internal and international level. In many places in Cameroon, one observes the development of infrastructural projects whose realization is supported by China, which appears in many ways as the new privileged and strategic partner of Cameroon in the achievement of its “emerging Cameroon” ambition. By taking as main cases study of this infrastructures development the construction of hydroelectric dams and the deep-sea port, this research questions the impact that these projects have on the development of the state in Cameroon. This study also analyzes the political processes and uses that accompany the developmentalist perspective of Cameroon. This also supposes to take into account the political transactions, which are established amongst actors, in order to identify the room for manoeuver, which Cameroon keeps in the conception, realization and exploitation of these projects. In the same vein, it allows to understand the type of developmentalist state which is institutionalizing in Cameroon, its characteristics and its trajectory in regards to the achievement of its objective of “emergence at horizon 2035”. Finally, in assesing construction projects of dams and the Kribi deep sea port, it is ambitioned to put away the heavy obstacles that surround the realization of the big structural projects in Cameroon.