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Harvard is Buying Land. Lots of it. In Africa.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Originally published by Corporate Citizenship

June 9, 2011


Harvard says this is brilliant. It provides jobs for local people. It invests in African agriculture. It generates local businesses. Or at least that is what the deans would have us believe. It also generates a 25% return.

A group of the world’s finest academics can surely justify anything.

The Oakland Institute says that local people are being removed from the land they have been farming for years. Refugee camps are being uprooted. The only ones benefitting it seems, are the investors themselves.

The report on this story by The Guardian is undoubtedly shocking. But I’m not sure which part astonishes me the most.  The part where an area the size of France in Africa has been leased by foreign companies in the last three years alone.

Or the part where this is justified.