The Western Media

October 29, 2012

By Belachew Mekuria Fikre, Addis Ababa University Centre for Human Rights

The Western media have an established role in their own home politics by tacitly or explicitly backing a particular party or candidate for higher political offices. So they take sides with unfulfilled efforts of pretence to be professional, i.e., they try to be engaged in neutral reporting. But everybody knows which side CNN, or SkyNews or NBS stand. From the inception of a campaign circus till the last night of an election day, and then beginning from the victory speech until the start of the next election they keep on digging holes to find a fact or something closer to it either to the credit or debt of the one they support or oppose without relenting. Read the rest of this entry »

Adding up to our posts on foreign direct investments in agriculture, the Surrey International Law Centre and the Environmental Regulatory Research Group just published a fact-finding report on the so-called ‘land-grab’ which will be used as a basis for a more in-depth piece of research.

The abstract reads as follows, and the full document can be found here.

Following the 2008 world food crisis, many international investors have engaged in a race for land acquisition and food production. This new form of Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) is increasingly criticised in the public sphere, which commonly refers to it as a ‘land grab’.

In the absence of consequent primary sources relating to the subject matter, however, this working document provides an overview of what the authors describe as an ‘agri-FDI’ trend, based on the cross analysis of secondary sources. It first draws a geographical map of the trend as a means to emphasise who invests and where. Second, it considers the origins of the trend are, including the 2008 food crises and the impact of increased demand for biofuel. This document, overall, constitutes the basis of a forthcoming paper which, in turn, will formulate hypotheses and questions as to whether agriculture-oriented investments differ from traditional FDI.

A. Martin and M. Ayalew, Acquiring Land Abroad for Agricultural Purposes: ‘Land Grab’ or Agri-Fdi? Report of the Surrey International Law Centre and Environmental Regulatory Research Group (March 2011). Surrey Law Working Papers – 08/2011 Available on SSRN at http://ssrn.com/abstract=1788948

Adding up to the ‘Agri-FDI’ section of the International Law Notepad, we are re-publishing a communication of the Ethiopian Government regarding investments in land.

Development or Exploitation? Foreign Investment in Ethiopia’s Agriculture

(MoFA, Mar 04, 2011)- Ethiopia’s development strategy and policies have resulted in double digit economic growth for the past seven years. Last year it also launched the ambitious but achievable Growth and Transformation Plan (GTP) to sustain the momentum of this growth through the next five years. A major element in the plan is agriculture and agro-processing. Agriculture remains one of the mainstays of the economy and the main source of employment and foreign exchange, and the government has committed itself to promote and attract potential investors to participate in agricultural investment with a variety of incentive packages as well as transparent policies, laws, regulations and procedures. Ethiopia is of course politically, socially and macro-economically stable; it has significant market opportunities, an abundant and trainable labor force, and diversified agro-ecological zones.

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