BY Azuka onye, 12:00am June 16, 2011,

Land Ownership: 21st Century Colonization?

Land Ownership: 21st Century Colonization?The Oakland Institute, a U.S. think tank, has published reports regarding the acquisition of land by outside investors in a number of countries in Africa, including Ethiopia, Sudan and Sierra Leone.

These reports have only confirmed what many of us already know: Outside investors go into African countries, take land, profit from their purchase, and make no efforts to make payment to the land’s previous inhabitants and rightful owners. 

According to Anuradha Mittal, Executive Director of the Oakland Institute, investors find it easy to make deals regarding the purchase of land. Companies “purchasing” land in Africa amass pieces of land that are sometimes equal to the size of France. They bargain with local tribes, trading vast amounts of land for a small bottle of Johnny Walker Whiskey. They promise to provide jobs and resources to the natives but fail to deliver.

Land Ownership: 21st Century Colonization?According to the Oakland Institute, the Ethiopian government made billions of dollars in 2008 from selling land to foreign investors, yet it remains one of the poorest countries in the world. Should investors be held accountable or is this a fair trade made by consenting adults?

They say history repeats itself. The report by the Oakland Institute is all too familiar, as it may be compared to what occurred during the colonial days of Africa. Countries were stripped of their resources and bamboozled into giving up land. Much of the turmoil and poverty in Africa is a direct result of colonization by European countries. And yet it seems, lessons have not been learned.

While all of the blame can be placed on outside forces such as, oil companies, hedge funds and banks, Africans are also to blame. African government officials continue to make deals with corporations to amass great personal wealth. They do not think or even care about the local people who will bear the consequences of these transactions. 

Africa is an undeniably a rich continent with a vast amount of resources that foreign investors are scrambling for. It should not be “easy” for any outside corporation to come into African homes and set up shop. 

Greed is as at the root of much of the suffering in Africa. If people could all unite and become one, we would have so much more clout in the world. No corporation, no matter how big, could take advantage of our resources. But until then, nothing will change.

Source: Oakland Institute,

Last Edited by: Updated: June 19, 2018


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