This news dovetails with Rasmus Hundsbaek’s recent commentary on the significant risks for foreign investors in pursuing such large acquisitions. Similarly, I hear that of the conservancies set up in Zimbabwe 15-20 years ago, it was the 100% privately owned ones that got trashed when Mugabe let loose his goons on them, whilst the community owned ones, under the renowned CAMPFIRE programme, survived, although I guess that the number of customers may have tailed off somewhat. Political risk must remain a serious concern for investors in many African countries, and land is the most political issue of them all.
ps. For another of those make-you-think pieces challenging basic assumptions behind how the West views Africa, see Rasmus’s latest post which ponders how anthropologists might view a hippie commune in Copenhagen.