Globalisation of Land and its Consequences

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We all try to figure out ways to experience economic growth and make money to survive. Although, the growth in economy is not all we need for communities and countries to experience sustainable growth and development. There is also a need for social, cultural and political rights. Several governments around the world do on the contrary pursue the single way of economic growth with development of their country in mind. Aljazeera (2014) reports the contemporary incidences of ‘land grab’ happening all over the developing world whereas land is taken away from the people and they are forced to be displaced. This is rapidly happening in Ethiopia where land is sold or leased by the government to international investors like middle-income or high-income countries as India and China. The land is leased at bottom price, but still Ethiopia is experiencing excellent economic growth, which allows them to further develop infrastructure and other modern constructions. The government see this as a ‘win-win’ situation for both the country and its people because it provides jobs and new technology.

In reality, the people see little of the jobs and those who are employed become slaves to low salaries and instability, which can remind us of Guy Standing’s (2011) description of the emerging ‘precariat class’. The people are displaced from their cultural land and are deprived of various human, cultural, political and social rights. The ‘land grab’ situation therefor creates a division of labour whereas the division between the global elites and investors, and the precariat class gets bigger and bigger. The investors are the winners who gain power by the unfair government, which miss numerous principles of good governance and ignore international laws in which they are obligated to follow. The people and farmers of Ethiopia are the losers as well as the society as a whole considering the damages and limitation it sets for sustainable development and eventually capital and human development.

Aljazeera. (2013) Land for sale. (Online) Available at:
http://www.aljazeera.com/programmes/peopleandpower/2014/01/ethiopia-land-sale-20141289498158575.html

Standing, G. (2011). The Precariat: The New Dangerous Class. Bloomsbury Academic. Pp. 1-25.

Anette Stepanoski 

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