Information for 17277IIED
Rural resource grabs or necessary inward investment? The politics of land and water in Africa
Working paper, 27 pages
What has happened since the furore broke over the corporate land rush in Africa? Field-based research has exposed new realities that challenge the linear suggestions of a ‘grab’. As the process unfolds and our understanding deepens, the single narrative of the ‘land grab’ fractures into multiple messy elements. New perspectives have emerged, which reinforce the view that such a grab is underway, yet complicate our understanding of who is doing this, why, how, where and with what results. At the same time, a ‘governance rush’ has seen a proliferation of international frameworks that try to regulate, rather than stop, corporate and elite acquisitions of African land and water.
Most rural Africans now live and farm in liberalised markets, which most African and international policy forums assume to be the best basis for economic activities. But there is considerable debate about these developments, particularly in sub-Saharan Africa.
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