Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

8/14/2012 (3 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 (3 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

South Sudan President reluctantly signs a peace treaty with rebels Watch

Image of

By Kenya Sinclair (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

South Sudan President Salva Kiir reluctantly signs a peace deal with rebels. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Despite serious doubts, South Sudan President Kiir signed a peace treaty between the army and rebels led by Riek Machar.Mechar previously signed the treaty ... continue reading


Catholic Bishops in Kenya call for support against polio vaccine Watch

Image of Advocacy against polio vaccines are being promoted by Kenyan Catholic Bishops.

By Linky C. (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Several Roman Catholic bishops in Kenya are urging citizens to boycott a mass polio campaign in their area. The bishops want to put a halt to the polio vaccination campaign, unless the safety of the vaccine has been confirmed with scientific testing. MUNINLUPA CITY, ... continue reading


Fifty people killed in Nigerian market bombing Watch

Image of Sources say the bombing has all the earmarks of the Boko Haram terrorist group. Sabon Gari, located in Borno State, is where the dreaded group is headquartered.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

An explosive device detonated in a busy market in the Nigerian town of Sabon Gari killed at least 50 people and left many injured. The device went off in the early afternoon at the peak shopping period in Borno State. Sources say the bombing has all the ... continue reading


Archaeologist declares Queen Nefertiti's burial chamber has been finally discovered Watch

Image of Neferneferuaten Nefertiti, or Queen Nefertiti was the wife and

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

British archaeologist Dr. Nicholas Reeves at the University of Arizona has proclaimed that a "ghost" doorway found in the tomb of Tutankhamun, the boy-king of ancient Egypt, leads to the final resting place of Queen Nefertiti. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) ... continue reading


Nigerian activist says President Bush, not Obama, did the most for Africans Watch

Image of

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Nigerian activist Emmanuel Obege isn't that impressed with U.S. President Barack Obama. "When you show up and you're saying to the people of Africa 'You need to legalize gay marriage'... I had a lot of Africans say, 'Well, when our presidents go to America we ... continue reading


Obianuju Ekeocha: Defending Human Dignity by Defunding Planned Parenthood Watch

Image of

By Obianuju Ekeocha

My country (Nigeria) has worked hard to eradicate completely through laws and societal codes, the dark elements within it that hurt and harmed men, women and children in the centuries past.Today my people bask in both the wonderful splendor of culture and the ... continue reading


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


All Africa News

Newsletters

Newsletter Sign Up icon

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

Daily Readings

Reading 1, Colossians 1:15-20
15 He is the image of the unseen God, the first-born ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 100:1, 2, 3, 4, 5
1 [Psalm For thanksgiving] Acclaim Yahweh, all the ... Read More

Gospel, Luke 5:33-39
33 They then said to him, 'John's disciples are ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for September 4th, 2015 Image

St. Rosalia
September 4: St. Rosalia, daughter of Sinibald, Lord of Roses and Quisquina, ... 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