Many thanks to all those who participated in the learning call on land grabs in Africa on Tuesday, December 13th. Anuradha Mittal, the Executive Director of the Oakland Institute gave us a wonderfully nuanced and informative talk about the patterns of land grabbing in Africa, who the major players are and how civil society both in the United States and internationally are finding spaces to have an impact.
The following day, the Oakland Institute issued a press release particularly on the problems that come along with private land investment in the newly formed South Sudan. As Anuradha explained during the phone call, international development groups attempting to lay groundwork for international private investments in South Sudan at a time when the government has not even fully formed holds the potential to create a lot of conflict. The press release stated:
“As South Sudan opens for business, foreign companies are flocking to invest in the new country and buy up land. For a school, a health center, some vague promises of employment opportunities, or a couple thousand dollars in annual lease payments, companies are given long-term leasehold rights of up to 99 years, often without the knowledge of the local populations living on the land.”
For the full text, click here.
Recordings soon to come.