ISBN 9789994450404
Pages 64
Dimensions 244 x 170 mm
Published 2011
Publisher Forum for Social Studies, Ethiopia
Format Paperback

Land to Investors

Large-Scale Land Transfers in Ethiopia

by Dessalegn Rahmato

Under its program of land investments, the Ethiopian government has leased out huge tracts of land to domestic and foreign investors on terms that are highly favorable to both but particularly to foreign ones. Critical reports on the 'bonanza' reaped by foreign capital have appeared in the world media and the websites of international activist organizations, and while some of these are based on questionable evidence, the global attention they have drawn may well be deserved given the image of the country as a land of poverty and hunger. This study, which is based on information gathered from field interviews as well as other sources, looks at the subject from a land rights perspective, with emphasis on the relations of power between small land-users and their communities on the one hand and the state on the other. At bottom what is at stake is the land and the resources on it, and what is being grabbed are rights that in most cases belong to peasant farmers, pastoralists and their communities. In the long run, the shift of agrarian system from small-scale to large-scale, foreign dominated production -which is what the investment program is now doing- will marginalize small producers, and cause immense damage to local ecosystems, wildlife habitats and biodiversity.

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About the Author

Dessalegn Rahmato

Dessalegn Rahmato won the 1999 Prince Claus Award in recognition of significant achievements in the field of research and development. He is a Senior Research Fellow at the Forum for Social Studies, and was formerly its Executive Director. He has published on land and agrarian issues, food security, environmental policy, and poverty in Wollaita. His current research is on civil society and democratisation.

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