Wednesday, May 29, 2013

African MPs warn govts on land deals

African legislators meeting in Kigali have called for a cautious approach before dishing out land to international investors.

The lawmakers argue that though agricultural foreign direct investments (FDIs) are key to Africa’s food security, it must be properly harnessed to ensure that they deliver on associated benefits. 

The two-day meeting which opened yesterday drew members of the East African Legislative Assembly (EALA), the Pan African Parliament (PAP), and Rwanda’s lawmakers.

Under the them: Making Agricultural Investments work for Africa–a parliamentarian’s response to the land rush, lawmakers will identify priorities and make concrete suggestions for parliamentary initiatives at national, regional and African level.

Speaking at the opening ceremony, EALA Speaker Margaret Zziwa, said past trends of FDIs in African natural resources show that in many cases, they failed to deliver, leaving the continent grappling with risks and potentially severe negative consequences.

Zziwa said such consequences include loss of smaller holder farmers’ livelihoods; increased landlessness; 

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