Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

8/14/2012 (2 years ago)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

Investors buying African land, displacing natives.

When the British finally left Africa in the mid-twentieth century, nobody expected them to return, or at least not so soon. Yet, the imperialists have returned, this time using economic might instead of rifles to conquer the land.

Africa could be the breadbasket of the world, but shouldn't the profits also remain in Africa where they're needed?

Africa could be the breadbasket of the world, but shouldn't the profits also remain in Africa where they're needed?

Highlights

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

8/14/2012 (2 years ago)

Published in Africa

Keywords: Africa, investors, Irish Potato Famine, land, disaster


LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Investors, led by the British, are buying vast swathes of African farmland and ranchland, and making tremendous profits in the process. And while nobody will begrudge and investor his profits, the problem is that these land purchases are displacing thousands of native people. 

Last June, investors from around the world gathered for a summit in London. At the summit, talk focused on buying African farmland for profit. Already, 5 percent of Africa is back in the hands of western investors. And British investors now control farmland in African that is the equivalent of 2/3 of the UK's total farmland. 

Investors say they're helping by applying modern farming methods to their African estates. On the one hand, this is true. Using modern machinery, chemicals, and methods, the farms are booming, reliably producing abundant harvests. However, these farms are displacing native people who have lived on the land for generations.

Often, locals are paid very little to give up the rights to their land and relocate elsewhere. Usually periods of distress make the best buying opportunities. When locals have to decide between starvation or violence, or giving up their land for a few euros they can spend on food and relocation, most choose the latter. And when stability returns, the farms set up and go to work. 

Unfortunately, for the locals, modern equipment makes labor unnecessary so each farm has the potential to deprive hundreds of people of their livelihood and sustenance. And it does not matter that food production increases under modern cultivation, for very little of the food, if any is consumed locally. Once harvested, food is transported to the nearest port where it can be shipped overseas and fetch the best prices. 

This isn't the first time this has happened. In the 1840's a fungus destroyed potato crops in Ireland, at a time when the potato was the primary stable of the Irish diet, thanks to the impoverished condition of the people. As potatoes were destroyed, the Irish people starved. Those that could fled the country, seeking work in British mines and factories if they could get it, or voyaging to the Americas where they helped build the Transcontinental Railroad, and joined the Union army by the thousands only to be slaughtered in the American Civil War. 

The tragedy is that this didn't have to happen. During the Irish Potato Famine, Ireland was still producing abundant crops. The problem is that those crops were being hauled away and sold overseas for better prices. 

Will this repeat in Africa? By displacing the locals and imposing western farming methods on African lands, the new imperialists have already reenacted the first conditions of disaster. All that's left to complete the scenario is a humanitarian crisis. When that day comes, how will the imperialists respond? Will they share their abundant food resources with the native people? Will they ship food away from the hungry for profits? 

History suggests the latter answer will be the case, and if so, woe to the African people who will suffer once more under the heel of imperial greed.

 

---


Pope Francis: end world hunger through 'Prayer and Action'


Copywriter 2015 - Distributed by THE NEWS CONSORTIUM

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for July 2015
Universal:
That political responsibility may be lived at all levels as a high form of charity.
Evangelization: That, amid social inequalities, Latin American Christians may bear witness to love for the poor and contribute to a more fraternal society.



Comments


More Africa

Minnesota dentist accused of hunting famous African lion, Cecil, faces extreme backlash from the world Watch

Image of Walt Palmer pictured with previous hunting kill.

By Nikky Andres (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

PETA or the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals has stated that the dentist accused of killing the famous lion Cecil in Zimbabwe needs to be "extradited, charged and, preferably, hanged." MUNTINLUPA, PHILIPPINES (Catholic Online) - It has been revealed to the ... continue reading


Kenyan women beat starvation by 'sack farming' Watch

Image of The method has created employment and generated income for both rural and urban dwellers, and has proved to be a good way for farmers to adapt to the effects of climate change, he added.

By Caroline Wambui, Thomson Reuters Foundation

Central Kenya's Nturukuma region is not kind to farmers - its erratic rainfall, desert vegetation and drying riverbeds push most people into making a living through trade rather than agriculture. NTURUKUMA, Kenya (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - Jane Kairuthi ... continue reading


Two soldiers injured during a terrorist attack in Algeria Watch

Image of

By Kaci Racelma (Catholic Online)

Algeria continues to pay for its fight against terrorism. After a deadly attack perpetrated in the region of Ain Defla on July 17, against an army patrol, terrorist groups reappeared in the eastern region of Batna on July 27 with an attack against a military barrack. ... continue reading


Algeria holds international conference on stopping radicalization around the world Watch

Image of

By Kaci Racelma (Catholic Online)

Radicalization is a generic phenomenon that plagues all democratic societies. The radicalization of armed groups, that carry out attacks everywhere worldwide, challenges all governments at the highest level. ALGIERS, ALGERIA (Catholic Online) - This perspective was ... continue reading


Malian authorities dismantle terrorist training camp Watch

Image of

By Kaci Racelma

The security situation never seemed better in the sub Saharan region, particularly Mali. ALGIERS, ALGERIA (Catholic Online) - Sometimes when the country's army takes over, it is a good thing; as is the case with the dismantling of a terrorist training camp, last week, ... continue reading


11 Algerian soldiers killed in country's bloodiest terrorist attack Watch

Image of

By Kaci Racelma (Catholic Online)

Friday, July 17, 2015, known as the first day of the Muslim Eid Al-Fitr, celebrated after the end of Ramadan, became one of the bloodiest days in Algeria. ALGIERS, ALGERIA (Catholic Online) - The Algerian army lost at least 11 soldiers in an ambush claimed by Al-Qaeda ... continue reading


Displaced Africans flee to neighboring countries with little - or no prospects Watch

Image of Witnesses from the State Department and international humanitarian organizations testified that social chaos in sub-Saharan Africa has created a full-blown humanitarian crisis.

By Matt Hadro, CNA/EWTN News

Plagued by wars, terrorism, and repressive governments, sub-Saharan Africa is in the throes of a humanitarian crisis that the international community is not ready to address, witnesses testified on Washington, D.C.'s Capitol Hill. Washington D.C. (CNA/EWTN ... continue reading


Kenya plans massive nude march to reject Obama's support for homosexuality during visit Watch

Image of

By Nikky Andres (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Kenya plans to hold a unique demonstration on July 22 and 23 for President Barrack Obama's visit. According to Kenya's Republican Liberty Party, the protest intends to rally 5,000 men and women. MUNTINLUPA, PHILIPPINES (Catholic Online) - Vincent Kidala, the party's ... continue reading


African countries spike up security as terror threats grow toward end of Ramadan Watch

Image of The night life in Algeria is full during Ramadan.

By Kaci Racelma (Catholic Online)

In the opinion of many throughout Algeria, the security policy created by the country's leaders worked well. Terrorist attacks appear to have been avoided, with no recent painful tragedy shaking the country. ALGIERS, ALGERIA (Catholic Online) - During the 1990s ... continue reading


Obama's half-brother hurt over President's failure to inform relatives of upcoming trip in Kenya Watch

Image of Malik Obama is Barack Obama's half-brother living in Kenya.

By Linky C. (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

President Barrack Obama is rumored to be visiting the homeland of his father, Kenya, in a few weeks. Unfortunately, his step-brother Malik Abon'go Obama expressed disappointment over the U.S. President's failure to inform his own family, in the country, about his ... continue reading


All Africa News

Newsletters

Newsletter Sign Up icon

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers

Daily Readings

Reading 1, Exodus 40:16-21, 34-38
16 Moses did this; he did exactly as Yahweh had ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 84:3, 4, 5-6, 8, 11
3 Even the sparrow has found a home, the swallow a ... Read More

Gospel, Matthew 13:47-53
47 'Again, the kingdom of Heaven is like a dragnet ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for July 30th, 2015 Image

St. Peter Chrysologus
July 30: St. Peter Chrysologus, Bishop and Doctor of the Church ... Read More

Inform, Inspire & Ignite Logo

Find Catholic Online on Facebook and get updates right in your live feed.

Become a fan of Catholic Online on Facebook


Follow Catholic Online on Twitter and get News and Product updates.

Follow us on Twitter