Anywaa Survival Organisation: The Ethiopian government’s secret land grab deals

Anywaa Survival Organisation-ASO

Involving, Caring and Empowering indigenous People

Press Release

March 11, 2010

The Ethiopian Government’s Secret Land Grab Deals

It has become apparent that the current Ethiopian government has decided to lease out vast fertile farmlands to foreign governments and multinational corporations in Gambela, Oromia, Southern Nations, Nationalities and People and Benishangul-Gumuz regions in Ethiopia. Further negotiations are underway in other regions of the country, the terms of contracts in all cases remain secret, and without consultation and compensation to indigenous people who have lived there for generations. The government claims it is signing these deals for economic growth and development in a country that have been largely dependent on international food aid and assistance.

Petition signed by 400 people of a local community in Ethiopia who say they have been evicted without compensation from lands taken over for foreign investors (Source: VOA)

This trend of rush to lease out farmlands to foreign governments and multinational corporations without consultation and compensation in our view, does not serve the purpose and desire to support agricultural sector and improve agricultural productivity, alleviate poverty and increase economic growth as advocated by the Ethiopian authorities. Instead, we fear that the policy will evict the majority small farmland owners, deprive many populations’ access to farmlands and result in a massive increase in destitution, overcrowding in urban areas, crimes and potential instability in a region with fragile political, economic and social institutions.

In the past, the current government has maintained its strong position on land ownership in accordance with the constitution and the Charter of Transitional Government of Ethiopia. The state control and ownership of farmlands maintained by the current regime many believe was a continuation of land ownership of the previous regime in accordance with the 1975 land Reform and Proclamation.

However, the current Ethiopian government’s sudden change of land lease policy and direction in relations to land ownership and in particularly, the shift to lease huge fertile farmlands to foreign governments and multinational corporations could only worsen the situation of small farmland households and restricts them access to essential economic assets. This calls for assessment and policy revision to improve processes, implementation and preliminary studies that led to signing and implementation of land lease contracts with foreign governments and multinational companies to save the fragile natural environment and ecological system.

Believing that the rush for land lease policy amid increase in Ethiopian population who require farmlands in the future would undermine any economic growth and development so far achieved we:

For further details and information, please contact:

Nyikaw Ochalla


Anywaa Survival Organisation-ASO Send your comments to:
[email protected]
URL to Article:

Source: Anywaa Survival Organisation

Links in this article