Posts Tagged: africa

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Frederic Mousseau 


The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO)’s report, State of Food Insecurity in the World 2012, was released on October 9, 2012. Although one might be tempted to celebrate the decrease in the number of
undernourished people from nearly 1 billion in 2009 to 870 million today, this new report is not a harbinger of good news.

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INTERVIEW

A new report from the Oakland Institute examines a controversial land investment deal in Sierra Leone. Pambazuka News caught up with Oakland Institute Policy Director Frederic Mousseau to find out why the report has attracted so much attention.

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Source: oaklandinstitute.org
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Mis en cause, le groupe Bolloré s’estime victime d’une «manupulation»

Qui criore? L’Oakland Institute, une organisation non gouvermentale (ONG) baseé en Californie, spécialiste de «l’accaparement de terres», qui dénonce, dans un document rendu public le 2 de avril, l’implication de Vincent Bolloré dans la location  de 6,500 hectares  de terres agricoles situées en Sierra Leone et destinées a la production d’huile de palmes? 

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Source: oaklandinstitute.org
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The Oakland Institute is proud to have sponsored the first ever assembly of communities impacted by large-scale foreign land investments in Sierra Leone. Between April 1-4, 2012, farmers, small land owners, women, youth, and elders assembled in Freetown to have their voices heard and strategize a way forward. Joan Baxter, Senior Fellow at the Oakland Institute reports from the meeting.

It was the very first opportunity for Sierra Leoneans affected by the recent wave of large land deals in the country to find their collective voice and to make it heard. Ninety farmers from all over the country — women and men, young and old — made their way to the capital Freetown to share their experiences on how large-scale foreign land investment deals are affecting them. They came from eight districts and 20 chiefdoms where foreign investors have leased vast tracks of farmland, most for 50 years with a possible extension of 21.

The occasion was the first-ever national conference of landowners and land users in Sierra Leone, an event organized by the Sierra Leonean NGO Green Scenery, together with the Sierra Leone Network on the Right to Food (SiLNoRF). The Oakland Institute provided the financial support that made the conference possible and covered travel and accommodation costs for the participants.

By the time they had finished two days of intensive discussions, the participants had developed and unanimously adopted eight recommendations that they hope will end the suffering that the land deals are causing. Every single participant endorsed the final communiqué with a signature or, for those unable to write, a thumbprint.

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Source: oaklandinstitute.org
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Agricultural Investment or Land Grab in Sierra Leone?

In 2011, Socfin Agricultural Company Sierra Leone Ltd. (Socfin SL) secured 6,500 hectares of farmland for rubber and oil palm plantations in Malen chiefdom in Pujehun district in the south of Sierra Leone. Read more at http://www.oaklandinstitute.org/land-deals-africa-sierra-leone/.

Background:

The $100 million investment promises job creation, compensation for lost farms, and construction of infrastructure. The Socfin investment, however, does not have support of the local population. In October 2011, 40 villagers were arrested following a peaceful protest against Socfin. 

The struggle of smallholder farmers and land owners in Sierra Leone is a classic David versus Goliath battle. The grievances made by Sierra Leonean farmers over Socfin’s oil plantations are virtually identical to those made by farming communities from around the world regarding investments made by other Socfin’s subsidiaries.

Source: oaklandinstitute.org
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Gambella Snapshot: US Aid to Ethiopia Supports Forced Relocations

Ethiopia is forcibly relocating 70,000 people from Gambella to make fertile land available for foreign investment in agriculture—aggravating current hunger while laying the groundwork for future famine in Ethiopia, as people are losing their livelihoods and being moved to areas where they cannot readily feed themselves. 

Speak out against evictions for land grabs! Sign the petition to President Barack Obama and USAID Administrator Dr. Rajiv Shah today

Learn more on the Ethiopia country overview page and Land Deals in Africa Special Investigation Phase Two: Understanding How Land Deals Contribute to Famine and Conflict in Africa

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Anuradha Mittal of The Oakland Institute

Thursday, May 3rd, 6:00 - 7:30 pm

At the James Irvine Foundation Conference Center at the 

East Bay Community Foundation, 200 Frank Ogawa Plaza, Oakland

12th Street/City Center BART

map/directions 

This event is FREE and OPEN to the public

RSVP Requested: Call or email Priority Africa Network (PAN)

Tel: 510 663 2255 

PriorityAfrica@PriorityAfrica.org  

African countries are recording unprecedented economic growth while incomeinequity is higher than ever.  The current model of economic structure is considereda success as countries compete with one another to open up their markets to foreigninvestors buying mass acres of land and extracting resources. When land is owned/leased by foreign investors, what happens to communities forced off their ancestral homes? Many are internally displacedwhile others migrate in search of better opportunities elsewhere. These considerations are challenging traditional concepts of nationhoodand sovereignty, examining historic experiences of colonialism of the past and present. 

The talk will provide an overview of the reality of land grabs in Africa, based on extensive research and advocacy conducted by the OaklandInstitute.  Learn about resistance from impacted communities, grassroots and national organizations in Africa, and solidarity networks. 

Anuradha Mittal is founder and executive director of the Oakland Institute. Starting 2011, the Institute has unveiled land investment deals in Africa that reveal a disturbing pattern of a lackof transparency, fairness, and accountability. The dynamic relationship between research, advocacy, and international media coverage has resulted in an amazing string of successes and organizing in the U.S. and abroad. 

Sponsoring Organizations:

African Immigrant Social & Cultural Services (AISCS)

African Women’s Development Fund,USA

Black Alliance for Just Immigration (BAJI)

Center for African Studies, U.C. Berkeley

International Development Exchange (IDEX)

Global Exchange

Global Fund for Women

New Field Foundation

Oakland Institute

Pambazuka News

Source: http
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In yet another exposé of exploitative practices associated with large-scale land acquisitions, the Oakland Institute examines Socfin Agricultural Corporation Sierra Leone (Socfin), controlled by the powerful French corporate titan Vincent Bolloré in a new land deal brief.

Watch the video about villagers in the Malen chiefdom

Source: http