Since the onset of the phenomenon of large scale land acquisition for agri-business in Sierra Leone, after the first whistle was blown by Green Scenery, many studies have been conducted by various researchers, some to meet requirements for degree thesis, others for policy and development purposes. There is the fear in a school of thought opposed to large scale land acquisition that there is danger in corporate entities ascribing huge portions of land to themselves in the guise of investment and annihilating the actual land owners.
Green Scenery is concerned that 60% of the total area in one of the districts in Sierra Leone could soon be converted for large-scale industrial oil palm plantations.
The land grabbing issue has produced a plethora of debates ranging from ethical conduct of land grabbing agents, specifically concerning displacement, to evidence for and against positive externalities such as technological spill-overs and construction of infrastructure. An underexplored topic is the valuation of agricultural land and the compensatory payments made to land users, distinct from land owners, for the loss of their source of food security.
How do various forms of globalisation affect the economy, politics, and society at a national and subnational level? How does globalisation influence governance? How can the main and side effects of development programmes be measured? How can the use of resources be controlled in a sensible manner? Such questions that are relevant for scientific and practical international collaboration are looked at by around 50 researchers at IEE from an economic, legal, and social scientific perspective.
There is wide engagement with large-scale land deals in sub-Saharan Africa, particularly from the perspectives of development and international political economy. Recently, scholars have increasingly pointed to a gendered lacuna in this literature. Engagement with gender tends to focus on potential differential impacts for men and women, and it also flags the need for more detailed empirical research of specific land deals.
Since 2004, the World Bank has provided continuous “investment climate advisory services” to Sierra Leone. Business reforms and Bank-piloted programs such as Sierra Leone Business Forum and the Sierra Leone Investment and Export Promotion Agency led to the World Bank classifying Sierra Leone among “the top 15 economies that improved their business regulatory environment the most” since 2005 and rank the country third in the regional “Protection of Investors” category.
The recent phenomenon of large-scale acquisition of land for a variety of investment purposes has raised deep concerns over the food security, livelihood and socio-economic development of communities in many regions of the developing world. This study set out to investigate the food security outcomes of land acquisitions in northern Sierra Leone.
We, leaders of groups of women affected by the expansion of industrial monoculture plantations, particularly oil palm plantations, coming from all regions in Sierra Leone and different countries from West and Central Africa;
We, national and international organizations involved in the struggle for the rights of women and local communities in Africa, Latin America and Asia, signatories of this declaration, met from 14 to 15 August 2017 in Port Loko, Sierra Leone.
This paper was written as part of the research initiative entitled Engaging the Business Community as a New Peacebuilding Actor. It is a joint project of the Africa Centre for Dispute Settlement (ACDS), CDA Collaborative Learning Projects (CDA), and the Peace Research Institute Oslo (PRIO), funded by the Carnegie Corporation of New York and the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
The Africa Centre for Dispute Settlement (ACDS) works primarily within three thematic areas: social need, the Centre’s network and experience, and a business nexus to pressing social challenges and their solutions in Africa.