Critically assess the causes and impacts of "land grabs" in…
Critically assess the causes and impacts of "land grabs" in Africa
wider political processes
embezzlement & misuse of public resources (poor governance)
relic of socialism
post-independence socialism (Nyerere) 1967-1984 -> Ali Hassan Mwiyni (1985-1995) liberalisation ->
SunBiofuels. Bioshape. SEKAB.
predominately European MNC's - requested 4m ha 2005-2008.
rising oil prices (energy security).
increase in FDI (leading to development)
high corruption rates
loss of forest and biodiversity
displacement of food production
displacement of resident people from communal lands
local communities' rights to Village Land are permanently lost (biofuels)
Village Land -> General Land by Presidential decree.
compensation only paid for "unexhausted assets" not opportunity costs.
wildlife tourism (Serengeti)
local Maasai pastoralists v Ortello Business Corporation & govt. allies in Loliondo.
2009 forced evictions of 300 locals by Tanzanian Field Force Unit. - strong state support for Ortello v East African Maasai.
increased water abstraction
Vast swathes of land are being acquisitioned by companies in response to issues of food security, bio-fuels and in search of minerals & natural resources.
2.6m ha in South Sudan, 2.5m in Mali and Ethiopia - Madagascar have had requests for >50% of their cultivable land.
long-history of land-tenure issues in Africa, dating back to colonial times (KIng Leopold).
pros: investment, job creation & development on previously un-cultivated land. = win-win whilst simultaneously addressing issues of food security and climate change.
cons: issues of land-ownership, not leading to development, ameliorating issues of food security. Form of neo-colonialism.
In order to avoid some of the rhetoric and bias associated with land-grabbing I will focus on Tanzania, to best understand developments on a local level.
The causes of "land grabs" in Africa are complex and often both global & highly localised. In Tanzania, the main drivers include equally important economic and political processes that have largely been shaped by Tanzanian governance structures.
These land-grabs, both in the cases of bio-fuels and wildlife tourism have had profound impacts on the local communities' land rights.