On Monday Human Rights Watch released a major report: ‘Waiting Here for Death’: Forced Displacement and ‘Villagization’ in Ethiopia’s Gambella Region. Villagization basically amounts to rural gentrification, in which vulnerable populations are forcibly relocated, often at gunpoint and never with any consultation, so that the land might become `more productive.’ The story has all the major players: foreign donors, the Ethiopian government, foreign and domestic investors, and rural and indigenous populations.
It’s not just Evil Arab City States or Chinese firms that are buying up vast tracts of land in portions of Africa, set to produce specialised food crops exclusively for export. Now, the news is that “[s]ome prominent American universities and pension funds, among other wealthy foreign investors,” are also “allegedly purchasing huge tracts of […]
The Guardian’s John Vidal reports from Ethiopia’s remote Gambella region where in the last 10 years “1.1 million hectares, nearly a quarter of its best farmland” have been sold or leased to foreign companies by the Ethiopian government. The Ethiopian government says 36 countries including India, China, Pakistan and Saudi Arabia have leased farm land […]
Examine the 21st century’s land deals in African countries, and it’s mostly a collection of unequal “agreements” struck with wealthy nations and companies, busy securing land on which food will be produced. The International Institute for Environment and Development’s Lorenzo Cotula’s article “Land deals in Africa: What is in the contracts?” provides a rare glimpse […]
Once you get pass Julius Malema’s ramblings or the fact that whites play the victim card so well, it is easy to forget who the real victims of the new South Africa are. Land is one way to find out. As political scientist Allison Drew recently reported in an analysis of political developments in South […]