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Africa is being sold to hedge funds

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posted on Jun, 9 2011 @ 06:27 PM
Speculators and hedge funds have begun to buy large areas of land in Africa, with an area roughly the size of France already been sold in 2009 alone.

"In a report, the Oakland Institute said hedge funds and other foreign firms had acquired large swathes of African land, often without proper contracts."

"The research exposed investors who said it is easy to make a deal - that they could usually get what they wanted in exchange for giving a poor tribal chief a bottle of Johnnie Walker [whisky]," said Anuradha Mittal, executive director of the Oakland Institute.

"When these investors promise progress and jobs to local chiefs it sounds great, but they don't deliver."

"The report said the contracts also gave investors a range of incentives, from unlimited water rights to tax waivers."

While I don't think having hedge funds buying up large chunks of land in Africa is a good thing, I don't see how there is much that can or should be done about it. These nations are either soverign or not and to the extent that they are soverign and wish to sell part of their country, thats their business. Much of the US was purchased, so there is no difference.

What is likely to be the case is that soverign wealth firms are behind much of these purchases, essentially meaning that soverign nations are buying soverign land under the guise of an investment fund. Again, if its found out that China now actually owns this land, whats to be done about it? Should anything be done about it?

If a country is being led by a gent who will sell millions of acres for a few bottles of booze, thats unfortunate, but thats his right - or at least the right of the citizens of that country who have chosen him to represent them.

It does raise interesting questions, about the political voice of a nation, how aid will be distributed and by whom, and the on-going level of autonomy these countries actually have, votes on international bodies, treaties and other areas of international affairs.

It could well be that bankers have found a new way to shuffle lines on the globe about to generate wealth for themselves.

posted on Jun, 9 2011 @ 06:38 PM
I'm black and I say, sell it already. The people are starving and sickly. If they fix it up and make it something then so be it! I've grown tired of looking at the feed the children ads on the box over the years.

posted on Jun, 9 2011 @ 07:50 PM
reply to post by Heartisblack

Certainly we can all hope for an improvement in the lives of the folks in these countries. What will be interesting is what the global community will do if in fact their lives do improve significantly when the country is essentially being run by Wall Streeters or the Chinese. How will the UN deal with votes from countries when those votes known to be dictated by third parties for purely economic interests?

It will be interesting to see how the world deals with this situation, especially when the new "owners" of these countries are a bit more difficult to push around than the current leaders

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