In recent years, large-scale land acquisitions in Africa have stoked controversy, making headlines across the world.
Dubbed 'land grabs' in the media, large-scale land acquisitions have become one of the most talked about and contentious topics amongst those studying, working in or writing about Africa. Some commentators have welcomed this corporate and government action in response to security and food shortage fears, others have countered by pointing to its negative impacts.
Lorenzo Cotula, one of the leading experts in the field, casts a critical eye over the most reliable available evidence on this hotly contested topic, examining the implications of land deals in Africa both for its people, and for world agriculture and food security in a shrinking planet.
About the Author
Lorenzo Cotula is a senior researcher at the International Institute for Environment and Development (IIED), a policy research institute based in the UK. Lorenzo leads IIED's Land Rights Team, undertakes research and policy advocacy on land rights and on investment in agriculture and extractive industries, and coordinates a multi-country program to strengthen local capacity to get a better deal from natural resource investment. Before joining IIED in 2002, Lorenzo worked on assignments with the Food and Agriculture Organization of the UN and with two Italian NGOs. He holds a Law Degree (cum laude) from the University 'La Sapienza' of Rome, an MSc in Development Studies (Distinction) from the London School of Economics, and a PhD from the University of Edinburgh.
Table of Contents
1. Introduction 2. Historical roots of the land rush 3. Scale, geography and drivers of the land rush 4. 'Land grabbing' in the shadow of the law 5. Winners and losers 6. Conclusion