Articles on political and social issues in Cameroon, Africa and the world as seen by Njei Moses Timah > Land Grab in Africa


23 Jun 2011

“Research by the World Bank and others suggests that nearly 60m hectares – an area the size of France – has been bought or leased by foreign companies in Africa in the past three years”—U.K based Guardian online newspaper.

I present below excerpts from the Guardian article and those from another online publication to show you the link between the two articles and how an African Minister is strenuously trying to ‘de-link’ the issues.

 

 

Excerpts from article from guardian.co.uk,

“Harvard and other major American universities are working through British hedge fundsand European financial speculators to buy or lease vast areas of African farmland in deals, some of which may force many thousands of people off their land, according to a new study”.

“Researchers say foreign investors are profiting from "land grabs" that often fail to deliver the promised benefits of jobs and economic development, and can lead to environmental and social problems in the poorest countries in the world”.

“In Tanzania, the memorandum of understanding between the local government and US-based farm development corporation AgriSol Energy, which is working with Iowa University, stipulates that the two main locations – Katumba and Mishamo – for their project are refugee settlements holding as many as 162,000 people that will have to be closed before the $700m project can start. The refugees have been farmingthis land for 40 years”.

 

 

Excerpts from article in ippmedia.com of 22/06/2011

“[Tanzanian] Home Affairs Minister Shamsi Vuai Nahodha said yesterday that the government is conducting a study to look into the possibility of relocating 162,156 Burundi refugees who have been naturalized”.

“According to him, the Burundi refugees are those who were residing at Katumba and Mishamo camps in Mpanda district, Katavi region, and those staying at Ulyankulu camp in Urambo district, Tabora region”.

He said the aim of the government to relocate the refugees is to enable them integrate with the local people”.

“However, Zitto Kabwe, Kigoma-North legislator (Chadema) wanted clarification from the minister, claiming that Katumba and Mishamo camps in Mpanda District were privatized to a US-based company for agricultural purposes”.

“The minister denied Zitto’s allegations, saying they were baseless and that decisions to give refugees citizenship and relocate them were aimed at integrating them with Tanzanians so that they get familiar with its culture”.

No comment on my part. You can then judge for yourself and decide who to believe.

 

You can read full versions of the articles at these links

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2011/jun/08/us-universities-africa-land-grab

http://www.ippmedia.com/frontend/index.php?l=30411

 

 

Njei Moses Timah