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Land-grabbing in Africa

Research output: Contribution in Book/Report/ProceedingsChapter (peer-reviewed)

Publication date23/04/2018
Host publicationThe Routledge Handbook of African Development
EditorsTony Binns, Kenneth Lynch, Etienne Nel
Place of PublicationLondon
Number of pages10
ISBN (Electronic)9781315712482
ISBN (Print)9781138890299
<mark>Original language</mark>English

Publication series

NameRoutledge International Handbooks


Large-scale land acquisitions are widespread in Africa. In the 2000s, Africa became a 'grabbers’ hotspot', following global concerns over food security and fuel supplies. Land, with its available water potential, was acquired by a wide range of private and public actors, including sovereign governments, on African soil. Ineffective legal, political and institutional processes have permitted large-scale land acquisition to the detriment of local communities. There are increasing tensions with local communities who suffer from dispossession of land and natural resources and lack power, made worse where there are no mechanisms for relocation or compensation. Rural populations do, however, mobilize grass-roots agency to contest ‘dispossession’. In Cameroon, corporate accumulation of land is supported for its national-level benefits, but this pits government against local communities with women often being the biggest losers from loss of farmland. 'Green grabbing', justified on environmental grounds, also affects local livelihoods. Communities are not necessarily adverse to commercial agriculture if they are able to exercise more control over it.

Bibliographic note

This is an Accepted Manuscript of a book chapter published by Routledge in The Routledge Handbook of African Development on [date of publication], available online: https://www.routledge.com/The-Routledge-Handbook-of-African-Development/Binns-Lynch-Nel/p/book/9781138890299