Oakland Institute

For years, the program has been associated with human rights abuses and the forced relocation of indigenous communities while paving the road for large-scale land grabs. These issues were highlighted in a report by the World Bank’s own independent Inspection Panel in 2015. Rather than addressing the grave concerns raised about the program, the Bank, instead, chose to launch an almost identical initiative under a new name.

Ethiopia’s kangaroo courts have repeatedly handed harsh sentences to innocent people, simply for raising their voices against injustice. There is little reason to believe that Mr. Okello’s case will be any different. His hope lies with the international community.

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Pambazuka News speaks to Oakland Institute about the findings of their latest round of in-depth research into land grabs in Africa, from the role played by the energy policies of rich countries and the World Bank to the dangers of a development agenda that fails to heed the negative social, economic and environmental impacts of industrial agrofuel and agroforestry projects.

As industrial agricultural corporation AgriSol Energy sets it sights on 800,000 acres (325,000 hectares) of land in Tanzania that is home to 162,000 people, the Oakland Institute continues its call for people to urge the company, other investors and the government to step away from the project.

According to a new Land Deal Brief from the Oakland Institute (OI) to be released on September 12, 2011, the controversial Gibe III hydroelectric project located in Ethiopia's Omo Valley is facilitating the take over of 350,000 hectares (ha) of land for sugar cane and cotton plantations.

A series of investigative reports reveal never-before-seen materials connecting financial backers – including US universities and pension funds – to land deals responsible for destabilisation of food prices, mass displacement and environmental damage, writes the Oakland Institute.

'Land grabs encompassing the size of France, displacing thousands of families, building miles of irrigation canals without concern for environmental impacts, allowing crops to be planted that do not improve food security for Africa--done with little or no consultation with those directly impacted, and have no accountability or transparency--are exactly the kind of issues the Oakland Institute was established to investigate and make public.'

In the wake of a major two-day conference on , hosted by the World Bank to supposedly ‘improve land governance’ and ‘contribute to the well-being of the poorest’, a new report from the Oakland Institute exposes the role of the bank's private sector branch, International Finance Corporation (IFC), in fuelling land grabs, especially in Africa.