The Promises and Perils of Infrastructure – Envisioning Desirable Futures in the Global South: Future Rural Africa at DKG ’23


The German Geography Association “Deutsche Gesellschaft für Geographie (DGfG)” and the Institutes of Physical Geography and Institute of Human Geography at Frankfurt University are conducting the German Geography Congress “Deutsche Konferenz für Geographie” in Frankfurt from 19 – 23 September 2023.


The team of our project C03 “Green Futures” will chair a session on “The promises and perils of infrastructure: Envisioning desirable futures in the Global South” on Wednesday, 20 September 2023, led by Detlef Müller-Mahn and Theo Aalders. The panel relates a focus on infrastructure with debates about desirables futures in the Global South. It invites contributors to examine desirable futures in infrastructure development of the Global South. Key questions are: What is ‘desirable’? For whom? How do people envision their own futures?

Our Project C02 “Energy Futures”, researching infrastructures and governance for renewable energies, will also be contributing to the session. Britta Klagge and Clemens Greiner are going to give a presentation titled “Visions of green hydrogen futures in sub-Saharan Africa: Strategies, risks and opportunities” outlining and analyzing the visions and strategies of many sub-Saharan African countries to become part of, and benefit from, the emerging global green-hydrogen economy.


Click here for more information on our panel at DKG ’23.

The tension between utopic and dystopic visions of un-/desirable infrastructure futures is at the core of the project’s research. Project C03 “Green Futures” is mainly concerned with scrutinizing the ambiguity of large irrigation infrastructures as promising solutions to anticipated future problems and at the same time as creators of new uncertainties for local populations. It views hydro-development schemes in Kenya and Tanzania as arenas of future-making, where different actors struggle for control over the appropriation and allocation of resources.


Recently, project C03 kicked off its field work phase with a travelling workshop, where team members visited proposed dam sites in Kenya and Tanzania around which research in the current phase will be centered.

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