Johannesburg: Financial ‘Gateway’ to Africa

Elizabeth Cobbett

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


Financial cities are strategic geographical locations that have the necessary infrastructure and market depth to organize and deliver international financial services. Leading financial cities have historically been situated in Europe, the United States, and, in the last decades, Asia. This is changing; there are significant shifts in investment patterns as global investors see the long-term growth possibilities in emerging markets. This relates directly to changes taking place in Africa. The continent has accelerating and broad-based economic growth that is underpinned by links with Asia and Latin America. Johannesburg—Africa’s major economic city and powerhouse—is at the heart of these changes. It is being positioned by the South African government as the ‘Gateway to Africa.’ Drawing on the work of the historian Fernand Braudel, I argue that the study of such regional gateway cities can help us to analytically disaggregate the global political economy, and enable us to view it not as a single functional unit, but as a set of interlocking networks which contain a variety of forms of social order.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Power of Cities in International Relations
EditorsSimon Curtis
Place of PublicationNew York
Publication statusPublished - 2013

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