Oxfam in West Africa
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Land Grabbing in Africa

October 28th, 2010 Posted in Agriculture, Campaigns, English, Ghana, Mali, Senegal, Uncategorized

Lamine Ndiaye of Oxfam answers questions from journalists A new research report “Land Grabbing in Africa: A Review of the Impacts and the Possible Policy Responses” was released in Lilongwe, Malawi, today (27th October, 2010). The report authored by Tinyade Kachika and commissioned by Oxfam draws on cases from Ethiopia, Ghana, Mali, Mozambique, Senegal and Tanzania to look at the impacts of ‘land grabbing’ or what are sometimes referred to as large scale investments in land. As the report says “Land grabbing is of grave concern because land deals are affecting massive pieces of land”. These deals, according to the World Bank, already involve 32million hectares of land in Africa. The cases looked at show that there are generally negative impacts for the livelihoods of women and men in Africa, especially small farmers and pastoralists. The undermining of food security and women’s land rights are just some of the concerns. Kachika pointed out “the fact that African governments are directly or indirectly assisting in the land grabbing, rather than defending citizen’s rights, adds to the concerns and need for immediate action.”

The report was launched alongside and distributed in the Conference of African Ministers of Agriculture (CAMA) and the founding meeting of the Pan African Farmers Forum (PAFFO) also being held in Lilongwe this week. The CAMA is, amongst other activities, agreeing on strategies for “realizing the vision of a food secure Africa within five years” and ensuring “commitment and actions to expedite the implementation of the Framework and Guidelines for Land Policy in Africa” .

“We welcome the commitment of African leaders to ensuring food security in Africa and the implementation of the Framework on Land Policy. The report we launched this morning, however, highlights the risk that land grabbing could undermine these noble objectives” said Lamine Ndiaye of Oxfam. Ndiaye continued to explain that “we hope the AU Framework and Guidelines for Land Policy will be fully implemented to stop the worst forms of land grabbing and to strengthen the rights of African farmers and pastoralists, women and men, in every country across Africa.

  1. 2 Responses to “Land Grabbing in Africa”

  2. By Emmanuel Gaima on Oct 28, 2010

    The Publication is indeed timely for an Agency like Oxfam working on Rights and Livelihood in West Africa in particular.

    In Sierra Leone where I work for Oxfam as CD, the land grabbing is mainly an exploit by people in high public Offices and the object is mainly to construct expensive mansions for luxurious living and business. In Freetown the pri-urban parcels of land which supported Women engaged in vegetable and crop gardening for livelihood and family support has been lost to construction and this has increased peri urban poverty leading to unhealthy soci-economic consequences.

    There are various efforts in the Country geared towards proper landuse but mainly focussing on land acquisition and ownership for real estate development with little or no attention on securing and protecting land for livelihood such as agriculture – gardening and farming.

    It is important to note that Africa needs policies which could protect land use to an extent that a minimum quota should be apportioned and safeguarded for agriculture – farming, animal husbandry etc so that wealth creation on the land for Countries like Sierra Leone with some 75% of the people living through agriculture are assured of current and future secured livelihood.

    One of the key issues reamins how can Governments and Communities balance the interests of powerful ‘Men and Women’ as well as big Mining Trnasnationals with that of poor rural and peri urban Men and women in the appropriation of land. This brings us to issues of Sub regional and possibly Continent wide protocols to assit in policy and regulation with Countries being encouraged to sign up.

    I congratulate those who Commissioned the study as well as the author for addressing this very relevant topic in time and hope the Report will provide real and concrete platform to stimulate Policy dialogues within Countries and the Sub region.

  3. By Nancy James on Oct 28, 2010

    I just want to comment that land grabbing is not a new phenomenon in Africa, but it is only now that we have started looking at it critically because of its negative impacts especially on women and perhaps our local people and their herds.

    In line with Lamin Ndiaye, I suggest that the AU frame work and Guidelines for Land Policy should not only be implemented but be constantly monitored and also educate all concerned with the above policy.

    In Sierra Leone here my poor mother (a widow) was deprived of her land and was in court for almost three decades with successive governments. Justice prevailed in the end but with much animosity. If we want to put an end to the negative impacts Land Grabbing even governments should be neatly involved.

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