Legalizing Illegitimate Large-Scale Land Deals for Commercial Agriculture in Cameroon

in Perspectives on Global Development and Technology
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Abstract

Many communities in Cameroon are fast losing large expanse of ancestral land in the wake of a global land rush to local and foreign capitalists operating in the mining and agricultural sectors. This study examines the legal status of commercial land acquisition, the extent to which investors are complying with the law, and the land rights of those affected. It is based on primary data collected through interviews conducted among local administrative and traditional authorities, community members, and civil society organizations. The article highlights how agro-investors with complicity of the State have exploited weakness in Cameroon land laws to dispossess poor communities from ancestral lands. Findings indicate that in violating both laws and due processes to acquire land, the current land rush has left affected communities impoverished and without land and security. Commercial agriculture has displaced communities from traditional sources of livelihood to promote international capitalist interest.

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