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Dr. Kamal Donko: “Local Voices and Global Stakes: Unveiling the complex realities of Africa's longest oil pipeline in northern Benin”

June 5th, from 4:15 to 5:45 pm (S47 RWII or online) 

Local Voices and Global Stakes: Unveiling the complex realities of Africa's longest oil pipeline in northern Benin | Dr. Kamal Donko
June 5th | 4:15 – 5:45 pm | S47 RWII or online

We kindly invite you to our talk “Local Voices and Global Stakes: Unveiling the complex realities of Africa's longest oil pipeline in northern Benin”  with Dr. Kamal Donko. The event will take place on Wednesday, 5th June, from 4:15 to 5:45 pm, in room S47 RWII or online.

Kamal Donko, a visiting fellow for the Postcolonial Hierarchies in the Peace & Conflict Network, will present his research (abstract below).

Click here to participate online

Abstract: The Bénin-Niger pipeline, spanning 1982 km to transport crude oil from the Agadem fields in Niger to the port of Sèmè-Kpodji in Bénin, is of great importance for the economic stability and hopes for development of both countries. Yet since the military coup d'état in Niger in July 2023, the issue of oil exportation through the pipeline has become a fierce matter of public debate as hostilities between the Nigerien and Béninese governments have increased over the legitimacy of Niger's coup, and the coup leaders' fears of an eventual military intervention from Bénin's territory. The paper employs a subaltern perspective to examine the socioeconomic and geostrategic implications of constructing Africa's longest oil pipeline, connecting Niger to Benin. By focusing on the perceptions of local populations, the study offers an alternative perspective that is often overlooked in conventional discourses. The West African Oil Pipeline Company-Benin (WAPCO-Benin), a subsidiary of the Chinese group China National Petroleum Company (CNPC), leads the project, valued at 4.5 billion euros, which was completed early this year. The article relies on a multi-site ethnography to collect narratives and discourses from local communities, enabling a thorough exploration of the perceptions and practices related to the ongoing pipeline construction. This method allows the capturing of the relational dynamics and multiple realities produced by this infrastructure. Employing a relational approach, the analysis highlights the multiple practices and power dynamics underpinning the project. Infrastructures are not merely physical objects; they represent a network of social, economic, and material relations that are constantly reinterpreted and negotiated. The paper critically analyses the pipeline's impact on local mobility, demonstrating how the relations between actors, institutional structures, and technical resources shape a specific (im)mobility regime. The article contributes to understanding local dynamics and challenging dominant perspectives on the socioeconomic implications of mega-infrastructures in the region, highlighting the complexity and multiplicity of realities experienced by the affected communities.

If you have some questions, please do not hesitate to contact buesra.uener@uni-bayreuth.de.

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