Wednesday, July 20, 2011

US universities in Africa 'land grab'

John Vidal and Claire Provost,
Wednesday 8 June 2011 20.18 BST
The Guardian/UK
Institutions including Harvard and Vanderbilt reportedly use hedge funds to buy land in deals that may force farmers out

US universities are reportedly using endowment funds to make deals that may force thousands from their land in Africa. Photograph: Boston Globe via Getty Images
Harvard and other major American universities are working through British hedge funds and European financial speculators to buy or lease vast areas of African farmland in deals, some of which may force many thousands of people off their land, according to a new study.

Researchers say foreign investors are profiting from "land grabs" that often fail to deliver the promised benefits of jobs and economic development, and can lead to environmental and social problems in the poorest countries in the world.

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