Foreign Direct Investment in Farmland and Land Rights of Pastoralists in Ethiopia: a Quest for Balance

H/Mariam, Elizabeth (2017) Foreign Direct Investment in Farmland and Land Rights of Pastoralists in Ethiopia: a Quest for Balance. Masters thesis, Addis Ababa University.

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The FDRE Constitution gave pastoralists communal use right and protection against displacement, however, in subsidiary land laws, the Government has adopted a contrary position and declared itself the owner of rural communal lands which it gives and takes back as it deems fit. One effect of this is manifested in relation to foreign large-scale farmland investment and the Government has already allocated large areas of pastoral lands for the purpose of the investment in a way that is affecting the right and interest of pastoralists. Triggered by these, various studies have analyzed the investment and argued for the land right of pastoralists and against the expropriation of pastoral lands for the purpose of the investment. However, no single study has tried to see from development perspective, whether there is a way the investment and right of pastoralists can complement rather than contradict each other, as it has been the case so far. Thus, the main issue addressed in this study is whether these two concepts can find a middle ground when analyzed from the perspective of pastoralists’ right to development and the obligation of the Government towards pastoralists’ and the nation as a whole. By analyzing the relevant legal frameworks with empirical data and interview responses; this study contends the reason for contradiction so far lies in the Government’s failure to adhere to the legal requirements rather than the simple act of pastoral land expropriation for the purpose of investment. Specifically, the major findings are, the decision to and the manner of land allocation disregards the occupancy and landholding right of pastoralists; is not based on a study that compares the viability of pastoralism or the investment for each instance, thus purely over privileging the latter and denying the former a chance to be considered as one viable land use; is driven by the unfounded perceptions and targets of the anti-pastoralism thinking and the aim of imposing the Government’s own notion of development on pastoralists than the legitimate aim of development and development activities and the manner of allocation goes against the procedural right to development and the procedures for expropriation. Therefore, if the Government makes the necessary shifts by adhering to the relevant laws’, a balance can be struck between the investment and land right and interest of pastoralists. Such a balanced understanding is important as pushing for the investment at the expense of the right of pastoralists’ and vice versa, is leading to the destruction of both as experience to date shows.

Item Type: Thesis (Masters)
Subjects: J Political Science > JA Political science (General)
K Law > K Law (General)
Divisions: Africana
Depositing User: Emmanuel Ndorimana
Date Deposited: 12 Sep 2018 08:22
Last Modified: 12 Sep 2018 08:22

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