AFRICA/MOZAMBIQUE - Bishops denounce: "African resources plundered by foreigners; the needs of local peoples are ignored"

Saturday, 6 May 2017 land grabbing   bishops  

Maputo (Agenzia Fides) - "Governments of industrialized Countries seek to find a solution to the world's energy and food crisis in Africa without trying to meet the problems of Africans", denounce the Bishops' Conference of Mozambique in a pastoral letter dedicated to the theme of development.
Among African resources that are transferred to a foreign hand, there are cultivable lands. "Between 2000 and 2013, 56 million hectares of African land were sold or given to foreigners", the Bishops say.
The considerable exploitation of resources in African countries is likely to undermine the means of livelihood and development of local populations, the document says.
A phenomenon which has a strong impact in Mozambique where 70% of the population still lives in rural areas. "The disregard of the right to land obliges local communities to abandon their lands, thus encouraging private investors", the Bishops write. As a result, the model of "family farming" is being destroyed and "in all the provinces of Mozambique, there are agricultural conflicts caused by the launch of huge projects by large companies".
The Bishops conclude by stressing that it is time to look for "local development models" that are "authentic and just". (L.M.) (Agenzia Fides 6/5/2017)


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