Sierra Leone: local resistance grows as investors snap up land

Author: Claire Provost, and Paige McClanahan, Guardian [UK], Published on: 11 April 2012

Ten years after the end of civil war in Sierra Leone, the government is taking great pains to attract large-scale agribusiness investments, which it says will help boost exports and employment opportunities. But some local NGOs and civil society organisations argue the recent influx of investors has failed to deliver promised jobs and income to local communities....Delegates...[to a recent national assembly]...urged the government to immediately review all recent land deals and institute new measures to balance the scales between rural communities and powerful foreign investors. The assembly also saw the launch of a new civil society watchdog...[The] assembly's final communique...[notes] a lack of transparency around contracts, and the frequent exclusion of women and other key stakeholders from negotiations, has produced a string of deals that threaten the livelihoods and the long-term futures of local farming communities. [refers to Societe Financiere des Caoutchoucs (Socfin)]

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