'Land grabs' in Africa: Pathways, trends and the role of legal contracts

Hardly a day goes by without a new spectacular case of land grabbing being reported. But, hardly any reliable data is available on the extent of land involved, the trends, investors and target countries, the contractual conditions and how plans are implemented. A joint study by IIED, FAO and IFAD in four African states has looked into what countries the investors originate from, the average size of land area negotiated and whether private companies or governments are behind the transactions. A number of contracts concluded were examined in detail in order to determine how the interests of the local population can be taken into account and how it is possible - if at all, to achieve the often cited win-win situation. The author also illustrates what role is being played by host country governments and what issues the international community of states has to keep an eye on.
Lorenzo Cotula
Sonja Vermeulen
International Institute for
Environment and Development - IIED
London, United Kingdom

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