The Faltering Land Rush and the Limits to Extractive Capitalism in Senegal | Land Portal

Resource information

Date of publication: 
February 2021
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The Senegalese government has emphasized agriculture and mining as strategic priorities for economic development since the 2000s. The promotion of large-scale agro-industrial and mining projects reflects a strong embrace of extractive capitalism, wherein the state relies on the production, extraction, and export of agricultural produce and natural resources as the basis for growth. Despite this policy commitment, several high-profile projects in these sectors have not materialised due to project failure, delay, or abandonment. In this chapter, we examine three factors that account for this low level of project implementation: (1) the effectiveness of social resistance to land investments, (2) the contradictory behaviour and motivations of the Senegalese state, and (3) the deficiencies inherent to the companies in charge of these projects. Many projects have been revised or aborted as a result of concerted opposition from local populations. For its part, the Senegalese government has largely been unable to provide a stable policy environment to investors, and some state officials have rallied behind land defenders. Finally, some investors did not secure sufficient funding, do not possess the managerial capacities to run large-scale projects effectively, or made grandiose promises that cannot be met. In sum, agribusiness in Senegal might not be as profitable an outlet for capitalist accumulation as originally thought.

This is Chapter 3 of The Transnational Land Rush in Africa edited by  Logan Cochrane and Nathan Andrews.

Authors and Publishers

Author(s), editor(s), contributor(s): 

Marie Gagné

Ashley Fent


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