In recent years Africa has experienced waves of new investment, particularly in mining, energy and agriculture, and has seen elevated commodity exports. These flows are tantamount to a new scramble, creating wealth for foreign direct investors, some local entrepreneurs and a growing comprador class. Resources are typically exploited without raising the living standards of the people and at significant environmental cost. On the ground this has engendered significant resistance. The new scramble is a modification of traditional imperialist relationships which Africa experienced with former occupying colonial powers. But how do we understand the differences between the old and new scrambles? Who ultimately holds the power?
By the end of August 2019, African States had been hit by a total of 106 known investment treaty arbitration claims. This represents 11% of all known investor-state disputes worldwide. Between 2013 and 2018, there has been an unprecedented boom of claims against African governments. During these last six years, they received more investor claims than the previous 20 years combined. This paper exposes how the international investment regime affects African countries.
The EU has made migration control a central goal of its foreign relations, rapidly expanding border externalisation measures that require neighbouring countries to act as Europe's border guards. This report examines 35 countries, prioritised by the EU, and finds authoritarian regimes emboldened to repress civil society, vulnerable refugees forced to turn to more dangerous and deadly routes, and European arms and security firms booming off the surge in funding for border security systems and technologies.
Over the last ten years, a successful public-public partnership has taken shape between the water users associations in a rural region of Senegal, the French city of Cherbourg-Octeville as well as several other partners including civil society groups in Senegal and Europe.
In order for fragile states and the concept of state weakness to be properly understood, they need to be considered in the contexts of political economy and world history. Four apparently disparate cases – Guatemala, Haiti, Kosovo and Angola – show surprising similarities, and highlight common lessons for international state-building efforts.
This report seeks to join the dots between Europe’s outsourcing of migrant detention to third countries and the notoriously poor conditions in those migrant detention centres. Europe calls the shots on migrant detention beyond its shores but is rarely held to account for the deeply oppressive consequences, including arbitrary detention, torture, forced disappearance, violence, sexual violence, and death.
There cannot be any clearer illustration of the impotence of Africa’s continental and regional institutions to find local solutions to the continent’s problems, than their numbing inaction in the face of the wave of popular rebellions against dictators in North Africa sweeping across the continent.
The Bonadikombo water supply project exemplifies participatory planning in action. It shows how the various aspects of participation elaborated in participatory planning theory play out in practice by using elements of enlistment, cooperation and consultation.
Access to and control over land and associated natural resources play a key role in whether and how rural working people are able to build decent and dignified livelihoods, avoid or escape hunger, participate in decision-making, avoid or escape political exclusion and marginalization, and sustain collective identities and social reproduction processes.
This paper examines global inequalities and the future of capitalism and socialism through an investigation of the oligarchic wealth on which the current global order is based and also looks at growing challenges to these social foundations of the present global system.
Ruth Hall, Zoe Brent, Jennifer Franco, Moenieba Isaacs, Tsegaye Shegro
05 October 2017
This Guide is drawn from experience in the action research project “Bottom-up accountability initiatives and large-scale land acquisitions in Africa”. The project aimed to bring the international soft law instrument, the Voluntary Guidelines on Responsible Governance of the Tenure of Land, Fisheries, and Forests (the Tenure Guidelines or TGs), to rural communities and, together with them, to use the Guidelines to strengthen their tenure of land, fisheries and forests.
In January 2019 the World Health Organization issued a collection of formal recommendations to reschedule cannabis and cannabis-related substances. These present an opportunity for African governments and civil society to further decolonise drug control approaches on the continent, as well as to strengthen the international legal basis for emerging medicinal cannabis programmes in several African countries.
Harold Liversage, the Land Tenure Adviser for the International Fund for Agricultural Development argues that responsible investment in agriculture is possible if voluntary guidelines are backed up by an empowered civil society.
The so-called “global land grab” continues the historic process of land enclosures described by Sir Thomas More in Utopia as “sheep eating men,” when English peasants were evicted from the commons to make room for private estates.