Geohistory of a Technical Network: Borders and Networks in Francophone Continental West Africa

Special Report: Networks and Borders: Geopolitics (I)
By Jean Debrie

Geohistory of a technical network is an identification of the link between networks and spatial scales during one period. This article is about the production of the roads and railroad tracks in western Afric a during the colonial time and the national time. The tracing is here sensible like a formatting by a power of a project on a area delimited. Inside of the colonial borders and then inside the national borders, the roads and the railroad tracks have been formatted. These ways can be reread as the result of a compromise between a project and the capacity to achieve this project. This test of geohistory permits to identify the different successive geographical logics (axis of exploitation, national axis, economic axis, external connection) that are developed on these spaces. This exercise is led more especially on the continental part of the West-African area.

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