…But there’s a new, alternative narrative out there that can be summarized in one word: leapfrogging. The leapfrogging argument takes off where the stalemate between the infrastructure pessimists and the entrepreneurial optimists ends. It is rooted in the notion that infrastructure can be hacked.

In much the same way that Africa’s lack of significant telecom capacity was a boon rather than a hindrance to the emergence of mobile telephony, its lack of legacy infrastructure for everything ranging from waste management to energy utilities could provide the appetite – non-existent in the West – for genuinely transformative, future-friendly reconceptualization of the very notion of infrastructure.