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African development corridors database 2022

The large-scale expansion of built infrastructure is profoundly reshaping the geographies of Africa, generating lock-in patterns of development for future generations. Understanding the impact of these massive investments can allow development opportunities to be maximised and therefore be critical for attaining the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals and Africa Union Agenda 2063. However, until now information on the types, scope, and timing of investments, how they have evolved, and their spatial-temporal impact was dispersed amongst various agencies. We developed the first comprehensive database of 79 ongoing and planned investment corridors across Africa, synthesizing data from multiple sources covering 184 projects on railways, wet and dry ports, pipelines, airports, techno-cities, and industrial parks. The georeferenced interlinked tabular and spatial database includes 22 attributes with sources provided for each observation. We expect this database will improve coordination, efficiency, monitoring, oversight, strategic planning, transparency, vulnerability risk, and impact assessments, among other uses for inter alia investment banks, governments, impact assessment practitioners, communities, conservationists, economists, and regional economic bodies.

Thorn, Jessica P.R.; Mwangi, Ben; Juffe Bignoli, Diego (2022), The African development corridors database 2022, Dryad, Dataset,

It is important to note that this study does not include all infrastructure projects in Africa. Instead, the focus was on mapping those infrastructure projects that were under the umbrella of an existing, in progress, or planned development corridor project (or similar term). See the Nature Scientific Data manuscript and methods for further details (Manuscript is In Press). The files available in the compressed zip files are the same version of the database but in different formats: ESRI ArcGIS geodatabase (.gdb) named as "DCDB20210817.gdb", open access Geopackage format (.gpkg) named as "DCDB20210817.gpkg", and non-spatially explicit version of the database in .csv format named as "DCDB_Tabular_CSVs_20210817". Each includes the spatial data with its 22 attribute table, a references table, and a list of non-mapped corridors. The African Development Corridors database can be explored at It is also publicly available and can be accessed and downloaded through the Development Corridors data portal: All the data contained in the database and the database can be used under a CCO 1.0 license. They were digitized by the team using the sources cited in the methods. All sources are acknowledged in the reference table, which is linked to the spatial data by a unique identifier for each project that links the spatial data and the references table. There are several ways to access and download the information contained in the database in the Development Corridors data portal– with options to download the database in CSV with 22 attributes, KML, Shapefiles, or GEOJSON formats. Detailed information about the variables in the database can be found in Supplementary Table 2 of the published paper, which corresponds to the .csv files in the data portal.

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