Land grabbing

Apart from national politicians more than 75.000 people from all over the world visit Rio+20. They are the ones showing possible ways for a better future. One of the issues that asks for attention is Landgrabbing. This phenomenon started around 2005 when oil and food prices were rising. ‘Asian and European countries and companies moved into Africa. Unutilized land is bought or leased in order to grow food for export because of watershortages or to grow crops for biomasses to replace the use of oil,’ says Margareth Lee, researcher of University of North Carolina, author of ‘The 21st century scramble for Africa’.

Before colonian rule and slavery Africa was selfsufficient in providing food. Lee provides an example. ‘Large crops of cotton are harvested in Mozambique and exported to Portugal to produce fabric.’ What does development mean?  ‘Land is like gold’. Land for the indigenous people equals to cattle, children, roots, spirit and life. In the eyes of African governments land equals money. Development is measured in terms of houses, cars and even traffic jams are a symbol of prosperity and a growing middle class. Adam Kuleit Masai warrior from Tanzania hopes that: ‘The academic world helps to make policies to integrate indigenous cultural values into the system.’

Over Esseline van de Sande

Auteur, Stadspsycholoog & oprichter directeur De Stadscoalitie Author, Urban Psychologist & founding director The City Coalition
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