Large-scale land acquisitions in Ethiopia: implications for agricultural transformation & livelihood security

ASC researcher Marcel Rutten and PhD candidate Maru Shete Bekele contributed to the new book Africa's Land Rush: rural livelihoods and agrarian change. Their chapter deals with large-scale land acquisitions in Ethiopia, and the implications for agricultural transformation & livelihood security.

Africa has been at the centre of a "land grab" in recent years, with investors lured by projections of rising food prices, growing demand for "green" energy, and cheap land and water rights. But such land is often also used or claimed through custom by communities. What does this mean for Africa? In what ways are rural people's lives and livelihoods being transformed as a result? And who will control its land and agricultural futures? The book depicts the striking diversity of deals and dealers: white Zimbabwean farmers in northern Nigeria, Dutch and American joint ventures in Ghana, an Indian agricultural company in Ethiopia's hinterland, European investors in Kenya's drylands and a Canadian biofuel company on its coast, South African sugar agribusiness in Tanzania's southern growth corridor, in Malawi's "Greenbelt" and in southern Mozambique, and white South African farmers venturing onto former state farms in the Congo.

Ruth Hall is Associate Professor at the Institute for Poverty, Land and Agrarian Studies (PLAAS) at the University of the Western Cape, South Africa

Ian Scoones is a Professorial Fellow at the Institute of Development Studies (IDS) at the University of Sussex and Director of the ESRC STEPS Centre

Dzodzi Tsikata is Associate Professor at the Institute of Statistical, Social and Economic Research (ISSER) at the University of Ghana, Legon. She was elected President of the Council for Social Science Research in Africa (CODESRIA) in June 2015. Tsikata was a visiting fellow at the ASC in 2002.

Author(s) / editor(s)

Marcel Rutten, Maru Shete

About the author(s) / editor(s)

Marcel Rutten is a researcher at the ASC Leiden. His research activities concentrate on natural resource management, notably of land and water, in (semi-)arid Africa.

Maru Shete Bekele is a PhD fellow at the Netherlands Academy for Land Governance for Equitable and Sustainable Development (LANDac).

Full text, catalogue, and publisher website

How to order

Order this book at the publisher, James Curry.