The African land-grab: Creating equitable governance strategies through codes-of-conduct and certification schemes

'Earth System Governance: People, Places, and the Planet'

2009 Amsterdam Conference on the Human Dimensions of Global Environmental Change

Amsterdam, 2-4 December 2009

Panel 2, Allocation & Access, Resource Allocation, Wednesday, 2 December, 15:30-17:00:

The African Land-Grab: Creating Equitable Governance Strategies through Codes-of-Conduct and Certification Schemes

Barry Ness, Sara Brogaard, Stefan Anderberg, Lennart Olsson

Centre for Sustainability Studies, Lund University (LUCSUS) PO Box 170, 22 100 Lund, Sweden


This paper examines two failed land acquisition processes for food and biofuels production in Africa with the aim to establishing more equitable governance strategies. More specifically it explores the roles of certification schemes and codes-of-conduct can play in these processes. The two cases used are the South Korean Daewoo Logistics case in Madagascar and the Swedish SEKAB in Tanzania. The methods used were a literature survey and a case structuring using a multi-level (governance) framework. Analyses reveal that governance disconnects occurred between the regional and village levels with the Daewoo-Madagascar case driven largely by a lack of transparency in the negotiation process. The SEKAB-Tanzania case failed largely due to discrepancies revealed by an interest organization and the inability of traditional governance systems to manage the scale of the project. Lastly the paper presents a framework consisting of four areas where certification schemes and codes-of-conduct can be used in order to provide a governance system in order to increase access and allocation aspects.

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