Urban Forum

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The Diversity of Gateways: Accra, Cape Town and Mauritius as Hinges in Oil and Gas GPNs

  • Sören ScholvinEmail author


Research that stands in the tradition of the world city literature has made essential contributions to our understanding of ‘gateways’. Being logistics and transport hubs, sites of industrial processing, places of corporate control and service provision as well as locations of knowledge generation, gateways are an intermediate step between the periphery and the core of the world economy. They integrate peripheral places into global production networks. Yet, the state of the art insufficiently captures the functional diversity of gateways. This article makes a corresponding contribution. The author analyses how Accra, Cape Town and Mauritius interlink the African oil and gas sector globally. It is shown that corporate control of Ghana’s upstream sector concentrates in Accra, whereas logistics and upstream service provision happen in close proximity to oil and gas fields, in the town of Takoradi. Cape Town has established itself as a logistics and services gateway to sub-Saharan Africa. It also provides critical knowledge to overseas firms that seek to invest in the region. Mauritius pursues an ambitious strategy to become a logistics hub. It already serves as a gateway for financial and technical services. Against the backdrop of such diversity, the author furthermore calls the notion of gateways as sites of highly sophisticated service provision into question. His research ties up with policy recommendations made by the State of African Cities 2018 report and recent debates on generalisation in Urban Studies.


Accra Cape Town Gateway Mauritius Oil and gas sector 


Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest

The author declares that he has no conflict of interest.


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© Springer Nature B.V. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institute of Economic and Cultural GeographyUniversity of HanoverHanoverGermany

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