CE55 - Sociétés et territoires en transition

Commodifying land: Capital, inequalities and conflicts in sub-Saharan African metropolitan peripheries – METROLAND

Submission summary

This project focuses on the new territorial inequalities induced by the metropolitan dynamics in three West and East African capitals (Bamako, Dakar and Nairobi), taking land and its valuation as the key entry point. The rural fringes of these cities which, despite a wide range of demographic pressures and property investments, are undergoing massive land use changes, at the crossroads of ambitious state projects, private economic real estate investments and individual purchases of land plots. The understanding of these land transfer processes and the associated socio-spatial reconfigurations remains partial in the urbanization fronts. They are less documented than megaprojects that are multiplying in sub-Saharan Africa under the impulse of international capital and national political will. The originality of the project is to take into account the wide range of actors, sectors and dynamics that participate in these land-use changes and their equally diverse impacts in terms of urban forms and inequalities. Urban sprawl feeds multiple speculations, anticipations and varied strategies of real estate profit-sharing; this forms the core hypothesis of our project. The metropolitan transition gives rise to competition and sometimes violent conflicts for the control of land rents. The project brings together researchers specialized in land, rural and urban issues, geographers and socio-anthropologists. We combine an empirical approach with the production of qualitative data, quantitative data collection and spatial analysis to question (i) the transactions carried out on land and the capital resources of differentiated actors (ii) the socio-spatial reconfigurations of territories, in terms of use and users, and (iii) the conflicts and social mobilizations generated by these transformations.

Project coordination

Bérénice Bon (Université de Paris)

The author of this summary is the project coordinator, who is responsible for the content of this summary. The ANR declines any responsibility as for its contents.


LATTS Université Gustave Eiffel
SENS Université Paul Valéry Montpellier 3
Laboratoire de Géographie Humaine Université Cheikh Anta Diop
CESSMA Université de Paris

Help of the ANR 287,833 euros
Beginning and duration of the scientific project: September 2022 - 36 Months

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