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Corporate land grabbing from indigenous peoples

Ultimately, the most affected aren’t the [indigenous] leaders who are comfortable in their palaces –most of them for more than two decades in power. The real losers in this are ordinary people in African countries.

As the G8 meet  in Northern Ireland, the spotlight has been brought back to taxes and role of multi-nationals in developing countries. It is not just tax evasion and tax holidays that governments provide them that hurt developing economies but land grabbing has also become an every day reality in most African countries. Some companies involved are from these G8 countries.

More work on the ground needs to be done for local communities to have their rights to land well kept as governments push in favour of foreign companies

nuclear-colonialism-4

Push for transparency at G8 alone will not solve land grabs in Africa  Rose Bell’s blog JUNE 17, 2013  In 2012, a few months before he passed away, Ethiopian Prime Minister Meles Zenawi while attending the World Economic Forum on Africa was asked a question that intrigues most African citizens. Why do African leaders- revolutionaries turn to looting their own countries once in power? The brainy later leader of Ethiopia responded by highlighting foreign corporations’ role in impoverishing Africa. He hinted that African leaders, in their quest to find jobs for an increasing unemployed population, were being held hostage by corporations that come in to invest.

 “The vast majority of the loot[ing] is done by properly organized companies through all sorts of accounting gimmicks,” he said. “I think that is the most insidious form of corruption. It affects everybody, including those whose hands are not in the till.”

True as it may be, the response was just one sided. It didn’t explain personal greed and hold onto power of African leaders who amend their once revolutionary constitutions to serve not their country but their kith and kin as they preside over corrupt and corruptible governments. In their quest to hold onto to power, they use anything and anyone who puts in place a semblance of development and foreign corporation find this and exploit it fully.

Ultimately, the most affected aren’t the leaders who are comfortable in their palaces –most of them for more than two decades in power. The real losers in this are ordinary people in African countries.

As the G8 meet  in Northern Ireland, the spotlight has been brought back to taxes and role of multi-nationals in developing countries. It is not just tax evasion and tax holidays that governments provide them that hurt developing economies but land grabbing has also become an every day reality in most African countries. Some companies involved are from these G8 countries……….

leaves such land grabbing matters to voluntary disclosure and I am afraid it will not solve a lot of the problems.

FAIN has indicated G8 efforts of transparency alone will not solve land grabs.

“Communities affected by land grabbing can only claim their rights – including the right to refuse land deals – when they are sufficiently informed about the deals well before the signing of investment contracts,” read the statement from FAIN, “Even after contracts are signed, communities must be ensured the right to review and re-negotiate contracts, since all negative impacts are not likely to be evident during the period of initial negotiations.”…. These populations that are pushed out by big corporations are the same that we constantly see the world calling for more aid.

While the initiative in the G8 countries is a show that the governments are beginning to address the global pressure on land for food and fuel and its effects on world’s poor, it is far from solving the problem. More work on the ground needs to be done for local communities to have their rights to land well kept as governments push in favour of foreign companies. http://rosebellkagumire.com/2013/06/17/push-for-transparency-at-g8-alone-will-not-solve-land-grabs-in-africa/

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June 22, 2013 - Posted by | 2 WORLD, indigenous issues

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