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The Secrets Behind Land Grabbing in Africa Part 1

October 10, 2012
Vatican Radio

There is growing concern in some African countries over the purchase of vast pieces of land in Africa by foreign business interests and governments and by the local elite. A report released last year by the researchers of the Oakland Institute in the United States said outside governments and foreign corporations have been purchasing large areas of land in Africa. The Society of the Missionaries of Africa, also known as the White Fathers, has also expressed concerns about this trend. The missionaries of Africa are working in many African countries where they are engaged in various pastoral activities including the promotion of justice and peace as well as economic and social development. Next month they will start celebrations marking the 125th anniversary of the anti-slavery campaign initiated by their founder, Cardinal Charles Lavigerie. The celebrations will take one year during which they will organise activities aimed at sensitising the public against modern forms of slavery and other injustices. Land grabbing in Africa is one of these. 

Vatican Radio is privileged to host Fr. Wolfgang Schonecke, a member of the Missionaries of Africa. He began his missionary work in Uganda in 1965, working in rural parishes before he was elected to be the provincial superior from 1982 to 1992. After that, he served as head of the Pastoral Department of the Association of Member Episcopal Conferences of Eastern Africa, AMECEA. He worked also in rural parishes in Kenya. Today he is the president of the Association known as Network Africa Germany which deals mainly with justice-related issues in Africa. He explains, first, when he got interested in justice issues touching the weakest members of the African societies. He was interviewed by John Baptist Tumusiime.