Land-grabbing in Africa

Batterbury, Simon and Ndi, Frankline (2018) Land-grabbing in Africa. In: The Routledge Handbook of African Development. Routledge International Handbooks . Routledge, London, pp. 573-582. ISBN 9781138890299

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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.

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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:
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24 Jan 2018 13:24
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12 Sep 2023 02:24