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Hii Nchi kazi kuuzwa tu... Au mnaonaje wakuu

Discussion in 'Habari na Hoja mchanganyiko' started by Profesy, Jun 16, 2011.

  1. Profesy

    Profesy Verified User

    Jun 16, 2011
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    [​IMG]US universities are reportedly using endowment funds to make deals that may force thousands from their land in Africa. Photograph: Boston Globe via Getty Images

    Harvard and other major American universities are working through British hedge fundsand European financial speculators to buy or lease vast areas of African farmland in deals, some of which may force many thousands of people off their land, according to a new study.
    Researchers say foreign investors are profiting from "land grabs" that often fail to deliver the promised benefits of jobs and economic development, and can lead to environmental and social problems in the poorest countries in the world.
    The new report on land acquisitions in seven African countries suggests that Harvard, Vanderbilt and many other US colleges with large endowment funds have invested heavily in African land in the past few years. Much of the money is said to be channelled through London-based Emergent asset management, which runs one of Africa's largest land acquisition funds, run by former JP Morgan and Goldman Sachs currency dealers.
    Researchers at the California-based Oakland Institute think that Emergent's clients in the US may have invested up to $500m in some of the most fertile land in the expectation of making 25% returns.
    Emergent said the deals were handled responsibly. "Yes, university endowment funds and pension funds are long-term investors," a spokesman said. "We are investing in African agriculture and setting up businesses and employing people. We are doing it in a responsible way … The amounts are large. They can be hundreds of millions of dollars. This is not landgrabbing. We want to make the land more valuable. Being big makes an impact, economies of scale can be more productive."
    Chinese and Middle Eastern firms have previously been identified as "grabbing" large tracts of land in developing countries to grow cheap food for home populations, but western funds are behind many of the biggest deals, says the Oakland institute, an advocacy research group.
    The company that manages Harvard's investment funds declined to comment. "It is Harvard management company policy not to discuss investments or investment strategy and therefore I cannot confirm the report," said a spokesman. Vanderbilt also declined to comment.
    Oakland said investors overstated the benefits of the deals for the communities involved. "Companies have been able to create complex layers of companies and subsidiaries to avert the gaze of weak regulatory authorities. Analysis of the contracts reveal that many of the deals will provide few jobs and will force many thousands of people off the land," said Anuradha Mittal, Oakland's director.
    In Tanzania, the memorandum of understanding between the local government and US-based farm development corporation AgriSol Energy, which is working with Iowa University, stipulates that the two main locations – Katumba and Mishamo – for their project are refugee settlements holding as many as 162,000 people that will have to be closed before the $700m project can start. The refugees have been farming this land for 40 years.
    In Ethiopia, a process of "villagisation" by the government is moving tens of thousands of people from traditional lands into new centres while big land deals are being struck with international companies.
    The largest land deal in South Sudan, where as much as 9% of the land is said by Norwegian analysts to have been bought in the last few years, was negotiated between a Texas-based firm, Nile Trading and Development and a local co-operative run by absent chiefs. The 49-year lease of 400,000 hectares of central Equatoria for around $25,000 (£15,000) allows the company to exploit all natural resources including oil and timber. The company, headed by former US Ambassador Howard Eugene Douglas, says it intends to apply for UN-backed carbon credits that could provide it with millions of pounds a year in revenues.
    In Mozambique, where up to 7m hectares of land is potentially available for investors, western hedge funds are said in the report to be working with South Africans businesses to buy vast tracts of forest and farmland for investors in Europe and the US. The contracts show the government will waive taxes for up to 25 years, but few jobs will be created.
    "No one should believe that these investors are there to feed starving Africans, create jobs or improve food security," said Obang Metho of Solidarity Movement for New Ethiopia. "These agreements – many of which could be in place for 99 years – do not mean progress for local people and will not lead to food in their stomachs. These deals lead only to dollars in the pockets of corrupt leaders and foreign investors."
    "The scale of the land deals being struck is shocking", said Mittal. "The conversion of African small farms and forests into a natural-asset-based, high-return investment strategy can drive up food prices and increase the risks of climate change.
    Research by the World Bank and others suggests that nearly 60m hectares – an area the size of France – has been bought or leased by foreign companies in Africa in the past three years.
    "Most of these deals are characterised by a lack of transparency, despite the profound implications posed by the consolidation of control over global food markets and agricultural resources by financial firms," says the report.
    "We have seen cases of speculators taking over agricultural land while small farmers, viewed as squatters, are forcibly removed with no compensation," said Frederic Mousseau, policy director at Oakland, said: "This is creating insecurity in the global food system that could be a much bigger threat to global security than terrorism. More than one billion people around the world are living with hunger. The majority of the world's poor still depend on small farms for their livelihoods, and speculators are taking these away while promising progress that never happens."

    • guardian.co.uk © Guardian News and Media Limited 2011

  2. Profesy

    Profesy Verified User

    Jun 16, 2011
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    [h=1]US agro-tech firm ‘grabbing land’ in Tanzania[/h]

    [​IMG]A cassava farmer. Refugees will be displaced to give way to an agricultural multinational Picture: File
    By KEVIN J KELLEY, Special Correspondent

    Posted Sunday, June 12 2011 at 11:04

    The Tanzanian government is on the verge of concluding a deal with international investors that will result in evacuation of refugee resettlement areas to make way for cultivation of biofuels and genetically modified crops, a US-based research institute charges in a report released last week.

    “While Lugufu is now empty, Katumba and Mishamo sites are being evacuated by the Tanzanian government to make way for the project,” says the report by the Oakland Institute, which investigated internationally financed land deals in seven African countries.Under the land deal now being negotiated, AgriSol Energy Tanzania would develop 325,000 hectares in western Tanzania consisting of three refugee camps: Lugufu in Kigoma Province (25,000 ha); Katumba (80,317 ha) and Mishamo (219,800 ha), both in Rukwa Province.

    Refugees lose out

    The Tanzanian government announced a plan in 2008 to grant citizenship by 2010 to Burundian refugees who had begun settling in Katumba and Mishamo in 1972. About 162,000 people are covered by the citizenship plan.

    “Yet, while the Tanzanian government is being celebrated internationally for this generosity, the refugees’ citizenship is contingent upon a coerced move from the places they have called home for the past 39 years,” the Oakland Institute says.

    The report cites interviews with refugees who received Tanzanian citizenship in 2010 but who say “their legal status and actual certificates of citizenship were being withheld until they relocated to other areas of Tanzania,” according to the Oakland Institute. White South African farmers would be brought in to help develop the emptied tracts, the report adds.

    Among the details being discussed, the institute notes, are the question of land title, since foreigners are not permitted to hold land titles in Tanzania. Tax holidays, repatriation of dollars out of Tanzania, waiver of duties on project-related imports, and commitment to construction of a rail link for Mishamo are also on the table for the talks between the Tanzanian government and the potential investors, the report says.

    The deal is further contingent on the government’s creation of a regulatory framework for use of genetically modified crops, the institute adds.

    Quick acquisition

    “Though these issues are yet to be resolved, the process is well underway, with the expectation that the title of certificate of occupancy will be awarded within three months (as of April 2011),” the report says. It notes that the Tanzanian government “views AgriSol as part of its Kilimo Kwanza (agriculture first) policy initiative to modernise and commercialise the country’s agricultural sector.”

    AgriSol Energy Tanzania was born of a partnership between US-based AgriSol Energy and Tanzania-based Serengeti Advisors Ltd, according to the institute’s year-long investigation. Serengeti Advisors is led by Bertram Eyakuze and Iddi Simba, a former director of the East African Development Bank as well as a former Trade and Energy minister of Tanzania.

    Another key partner is Pharos Global Agricultural Fund, managed by a Dubai-based financial firm.

  3. G

    GJ Mwanakatwe JF-Expert Member

    Jun 16, 2011
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    Hili swala la serikali kuwapa ardhi makampuni ya nje binafsi nalilaani sana, ardhi ndiyo utajiri wetu watz, tutakapokosa ardhi tutakuwa maskini sana. Watu wa botswana,zimbabwe, afica kusini ni maskini kwa sababu hawana ardhi hata ya kutemea mate tu, ardhi yote inamilikiwa na makampuni ya nje. Serikali yetu isitupeleke huko, na kama ni sikivu naomba ardhi hizo zirudishwe kwa wananchi. Tanzania, japo tunaambiwa ni maskini ,lakini ukweli ni kwamba maisha ya watanzania ni mazuri kupita nchi nyingi duniani, kwa sababu tu ya uwezo wa kumiliki na kuitumia ardhi kujilimia chakula chake, kujijengea kanyumba kake ka kuishi japo kabaya, huo no utajiri mkubwa wa watanzania, tukipoteza uwezo huo wa kuwa na ardhi hakika tutakuwa maskini wa kutupwa, wenzetu hawana ardhi na maisha yao ni mabaya hata kama yupo marekani na ulaya maisha ni mabaya tu kwa kukosa ardhi. serikali yetu ituachie ardhi yetu.