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Ethiopia: BBC Hosts Debate "Is ‘Land Grabbing’ Good For Africa?"

Ethiopia: BBC Hosts Debate “Is ‘Land Grabbing’ Good For Africa?”

 

The BBC World Service is hosting a series of debates on the topic, “Is ‘land-grabbing’ good for Africa?” The debates are taking place within Africa, with participation from local communities who are experiencing the impacts of foreign agricultural investment. The first debate was held today in Freetown, Sierra Leone, with panelists including representatives of the Sierra Leone minister of agriculture, foreign investors, local activists, and The Oakland Institute.

 

Debate became very heated around the topics of who benefits from the foreign investment. The minister of agriculture and investors claimed that the acquisitions are not ‘land-grabbing’ but a development opportunity to bring jobs and modernization to African agriculture. Local landowners and farmers insisted that the land deals have not been beneficial for them, declaring that they don’t see any economic return. Activists called for more transparency within the companies, and demanded of panelists, “What happened to Free, Prior and Informed Consent?”

 

Listen to the program here:

 

The next program will be broadcast from Kenya, tomorrow, Saturday February 25th, at 22:05 GMT, (5pm EST). Follow the debate on Twitter with the hashtag #bbcafricadebate. Read coverage of the Twitter debate from the International Institute for Environment and Development on their blog, here.

 

The BBC has also published a gallery of photos of the Karaturi operations in the Gambella region, available here.

 

See also the BBC’s in-depth analysis of the land-grabbing within Ethiopia and the rest of the African continent, available here.

 

Source: Cultural Survival