There’s hot potatoes in that land there

I have previously blogged about the Ethiopian government’s dodgy land sales. I now note that at least one such concession is apparently being down-scaled.

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.

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