Africa's Land Rush

July 2015
15 line illustrations
224 pages
21.6x14 cm
African Issues
ISBN: 9781847011305
Format: Paperback
Library eBook
James Currey
BISAC POL029000, SOC002000, BUS072000

Africa's Land Rush

Rural Livelihoods and Agrarian Change

Edited by Ruth Hall, Ian Scoones, Dzodzi Tsikata

Interrogates the narratives of "land grabbing" and "agricultural investment" through detailed local studies that illuminate how these are experienced on the ground and the implications for Africa's land and agricultural economy.

Africa has been at the centre of a "land grab" in recent years, with investors lured by projections of rising food prices, growing demand for "green" energy, and cheap land and water rights. But such land is often also used or claimed through custom by communities. What does this mean for Africa? In what ways are rural people's lives and livelihoods being transformed as a result? And who will control its land and agricultural futures?

The case studies explore the processes through which land deals are being made; the implications for agrarian structure, rural livelihoods and food security; and the historical context of changing land uses, revealing that these land grabs may resonate with, even resurrect, forms of large-scale production associated with the colonial and early independence eras. The book depicts the striking diversity of deals and dealers: white Zimbabwean farmers in northern Nigeria, Dutch and American joint ventures in Ghana, an Indian agricultural company in Ethiopia's hinterland, European investors in Kenya's drylands and a Canadian biofuel company on its coast, South African sugar agribusiness in Tanzania's southern growth corridor, in Malawi's "Greenbelt" and in southern Mozambique, and white South African farmers venturing onto former state farms in the Congo.

Ruth Hall is Associate Professor at the Institute for Poverty, Land and Agrarian Studies (PLAAS) at the University of the Western Cape, South Africa; Ian Scoones is a Professorial Fellow at the Institute of Development Studies (IDS) at the University of Sussex and Director of the ESRC STEPS Centre; Dzodzi Tsikata is Associate Professor at the Institute of Statistical, Social and Economic Research (ISSER) at the University of Ghana, Legon.

Start the book here: Read the complete Introduction

An e-book version of this title is available (9781782045588), to libraries through a number of trusted suppliers. See here for a full list of our partners.

Table of Contents

Introduction: The Contexts and Consequences of Africa's Land Rush - Ruth Hall and Ian Scoones and Dzodzi Tsikata
State, Land and Agricultural Commercialisation in Kwara State, Nigeria - Joseph Ariyo and Michael Mortimore
Recent Transnational Land Deals and the Local Agrarian Economy in Ghana - Dzodzi Tsikata and Joseph Yaro
Large-Scale Land Acquisitions in Ethiopia: Implications for Agricultural Transformation and Livelihood Security - Maru Shete and Marcel Rutten
Land Deals and Pastoralist Livelihoods in Laikipia County, Kenya - John Letai
Land Deals in the Tana Delta, Kenya - Abdirizak Nunow
The State and Foreign Capital in Agricultural Commercialisation: The Case of Tanzania's Kilombero Sugar Company - Emmanuel Sulle and Rebecca Smalley
Trapped between the Farm Input Subsidy Programme and Green Belt Initiative: Malawi's Contemporary Agrarian Political Economy - Blessings Chinsinga and Michael Chasukwa
Agrarian Struggles in Mozambique: Insights from Sugarcane Plantations - Gaynor Paradza and Emmanuel Sulle
South African Commercial Farmers in the Congo - Ruth Hall and Ward Anseeuw and Gaynor Paradza


This collection of essays is the finest to be published on the broad debates of land grabbing in Africa. It covers empirically rich and diverse case studies. These are framed in an introduction of immense analytical heft that should be read by everyone who thinks they know what is often called in short hand the land grab in Africa. AFRICAN AFFAIRS

[T]here has been a great need for the detailed case study approach and the kind of integrated, informed assessment presented in this collection. AFRICAN STUDIES REVIEW

This anthology provides up to date political economy perspectives of large-scale cases of land acquisitions in eight African countries (Nigeria, Ghana, Ethiopia, Kenya, Tanzania, Malawi, Mozambique, and South Africa). . . . [C]ompelling but not altogether comforting reading. AFRICAN STUDIES QUARTERLY

Also by Author

Also in Series

Related Titles