As ratings agencies and risk insurers increasingly factor in land tenure risk to their premiums, investors need to be aware of the potential costs that might be incurred through disruption, sabotage or loss of assets and the further possibility that the strong-arm tactics used by some African states to resolve disputes could invalidate or seriously impact on the level of insurance cover.
The Ethiopian military responded to an attack on a farm in Gambella region owned by Saudi Star Agricultural Development Plc with arbitrary arrests, rape, and other abuses against scores of local villagers, says Human Rights Watch.
Major agricultural investor in Ethiopia, Saudi Star, has bigger problems there than it might have expected.
The attack on the Saudi Star Company has served as a pretext for a hunting down of innocent civilians and a campaign of murder, torture, harassment and intimidation in the remote corners of the country, warns Anywaa Survival.
Indigenous people fear collective retaliation by government security forces.
Gunmen attacked the camp of an agricultural company owned by a Saudi billionaire in southwest Ethiopia, Federal Affairs Minister Shiferaw Teklemariam said.
A controversial resettlement program in Ethiopia is the latest battleground in the global race to secure prized farmland and water. Correspondent Cassandra Herrman reports as part of the Food for 9 Billion series, a NewsHour partnership with the Center for Investigative Reporting, Homelands Productions and Marketplace.
Two MIDROC-affiliated companies, largely owned by the Saudi tycoon Mohammed Hussein Ali Al-Amoudi, are Saudi Star Agricultural Plc and Horizon Plantations Plc. Both offered tens of millions of Birr to acquire state-owned plantations last week.
Al-Amoudi’s Saudi Star Agricultural Development Plc, which is primarily growing rice to export to Saudi Arabia, has leased 10,000 hectares in Gambella region and is in the “process of leasing an additional 290,000 hectares”.
The growing insecurity and violence in Gambela, seen in the recent loss of human lives and attacks on government institutions, should be seen as a clear warning to investors about the dangers involved in large scale agricultural investments, says the Anywaa Survival Organisation.
Saudi Star has begun rice cultivation on 10,000ha of land in Gambella and a 10,000ha irrigation project along the already-compromised Alwero River. Only grain that does not meet export requirements will be sold locally.
Gilles van Kote, envoyé spécial du Monde, et Jiro Ose, photographe japonais basé à Addis-Abeba, se sont rendus dans la région de Gambela, à la pointe occidentale de l'Ethiopie, pour enquêter sur le phénomène de location de terres.