You’ve got until September 14 to submit an abstract of up to 250 words, to be included in an upcoming conference on gender and land governance, organized by the International Development Studies Group of Utrecht University in Holland. The conference is organized in collaboration with LANDac will run for two days in Utrecht, being aimed at drawing scholars and policy makers together who have been paying particular attention to gender dynamics in land governance processes.
Agrisol just can’t stay out of the news, are the Maasai being evicted or not, and a whole mixed bag of other news.
- Empowering Sustainable Investment Through Secure Land Tenure for Small Farmers (August 27th) – ILC Director Madiodio Niasse is part of the high Level Panel today at World Water Week in Stockholm World Water Week, which this year focuses on Water and Food Security.
In accordance with ILC Land Observatory, what the evidence is telling us in large scale land based investments is that the current wave of transnational land deals largely deserves to be referred to as “land grabbing”, and increasingly as “water grabbing”, as we better understand that what is really at stake is water.
- ILC Information Note: Partnership and National Engagemetn Strategy for Responsible Land Governance in Colombia (August 27th) – The “National Engagement Strategy for Responsible Land Governance” workshop was held on July 25 to 26, 2012 in Bogota as organized by the Centro de Investigación y Educación Popular/ Programa Por la Paz (CINEP/PPP) and the International Land Coalition (ILC).
The event brought together over 40 representatives from government, intergovernmental organizations, peasant and social organizations and academia to discuss working routes and generate agreements to promote the Engagement Strategy to promote inclusive rural development in Colombia.
Among the major agreements produced are the need to strengthen the capacity and political representation of farmers’ organizations, analysis and monitoring of current national policy on land restitution to make public policy recommendations, and the promotion of initiatives to support land rights defenders and rural women.
This is similar to what the Tanzania Land Consortium and let’s talk land Tanzania portal partners are anticipating shortly.
- Pulling down of houses continues (August 26th) – The municipality is kicking out squatters in Kinondoni.
- Arusha to host meet on green revolution (August 26th) – The alliance for green revolution in Africa is hosting a sizable event in Arusha in September.
- Ministry rubbishes Maasai eviction allegations (August 26th) – So who is being misled?
- Basu: Agrisol Ethics board shouldn’t shush the public (August 26th) – The meeting room at Iowa Citizens for Community Improvement was packed Tuesday evening, as a guest from California told a crowd of farmers, mothers, academics, retirees and others that Tanzanians were looking to Iowa to see if they can trust democracy. “I never thought mobilization in Iowa would happen,” said an emotional Anuradha Mittal of Oakland Institute that first investigated Iowa Board of Regents member Bruce Rastetter and his AgriSol company’s plans to develop about 800,000 acres of land in East Africa.
Besides, it is said the AgriSol/Tanzania deal involves many forces outside our control: globalization, corporatization of farming, potentially corrupt government officials collaborating on deals that don’t serve their people.
- Development of a National Statistical System for Tanzania Implementation Status Results Report(August 25th) – A number of other improvements have been introduced to the management of the statistical system by the government.Subsequently, Tanzania is planning to take the decennial Population and Housing Census in August 2012.
- Commercialize sugarcane farming, Kagera farmers urged(August 25th) – Farmers in Bukoba, Kagera region have been advised to diversify sugarcane farming by deploying commercial agriculture strategy.Besides, Kagera Regional Commissioner, Fabian Massawe has urged leaders of various religious organisations, INGOs, NGOs, political parties and journalists to effectively utilise the remaining few days to sensitive and enlighten people to participate fully in the 2012 Population and Housing Census which is due to kick start on Sunday.
- Journos arrested for covering Malawi, Tanzania oil talks(August 25th) – Police on Thursday arrested two freelance journalists who went to cover the ongoing diplomatic border talks between Malawi and Tanzania at the Mzuzu Hotel accusing them of publishing false news.The dispute stems from colonial-era border lines around Lake Malawi, Africa’s third-largest.The 24 member Tanzanian delegation is led by Dr Selassie Mayunga, Director of Surveys and mapping division in the Ministry of Lands, Housing and Human Settlements Developments and has no security detail.The delegation is in Lilongwe where further talks are supposed to continue and end on Saturday 25th August 2012 with the signing of a joint communiqué will be issued.
- Transparency is crucial for agri-business project implementation process (August 24th) – It has been argued that stakeholders want a candid talk and a fair discussion on the objectives and benefits of the Southern Agricultural Growth Corridor of Tanzania (SAGCOT) project to peasants in particular and the nation, in general.
It seems the project is not well known and seems foreign oriented, despite the fact that it is set to involve the acquisition of huge tracts of land and the use of genetically modified organisms technology, which is still controversial in the global scientific and commercial spheres. About 350,000 hectares would be acquired for the project.
Responding to the request of the stakeholders on having a special day to discuss SAGCOT, the deputy permanent secretary in the ministry of Agriculture, Food and Cooperatives Sophia Kaduma said it was a fair request that she would work up on.
Fred Pearce wrote another article for The Daily Mail, while some residents receive compensation after land appropriations and others are promised more. At the same time, Arusha is churning out big bananas.
- The British land grabbers snapping up swathes of African farmland to cash in on the world’s food shortage (August 12th) – Fred Pearce, of Who owns the planet, describes his experience with capitalist land grabbers the world over.
- Project Turns Arid Land Into ‘Banana Basket’ (August 12th) – Through rainwater harvesting, up in Arusha, 500 families are growing huge bananas.
- Tanzanian Land: A Key Constitutional Agenda(August 11th) – Competition over land and its resources has had and continue to have deadly consequences in various parts of the country. Recurrent eruptions indicate that the problem is far from being resolved.Outright land use conflicts are a more obvious dimension of the land challenge. Other aspects of the land challenge are more latent but equally explosive. Even before incidents such as the deadly land use conflicts in Kilosa, Loliondo Mafulila, Ikwiriri and other corners of the country, land rights activists have warned against escalating land conflicts which result from 2 main occurrences.
This has, among other outcomes, brought about an influx of large scale agricultural investment and the growth of extractive industries mainly in mining, gas and oil exploration in various parts of Tanzania. As it can be explained above Tanzania is currently in constitutional reform process up to 2014 when a new constitution is expected to be in place. This article comes with more news.
- Kawe MP Pleads for Namtumbo Villages (August 10th) – Giving capitalism a kick in the bum, A Kawe MP wants to have villagers compensated a ‘fairer’ amount than what they received when a hunting firm sub-leased land to an uranium exploring company.
What, however, exactly stipulates a fair price he did not say.
Meanwhile, the MP seems to have forgotten that, apparently according to Tanzanian law, if minerals are discovered on land allocated for other purposes, the land reverts back to the state.
- Minister dismisses land allocation favouritism rumours (August 9th) – You’d be excused to think that where smoke is, is fire, but the deputy minister for Land, Housing and Human Settlements Development reiterated that there was no favoritism in the allocation of surveyed plots at Gezaulole. With 1800 plots on offer, the 16000 applications were simply way to many to accommodate.
- Bagamoyo residents receive 6bn/- land compensations (August 7th) – This, for the future development of an industrial park.
- More Investment Needed in Agriculture (August 7th) – Particularly irrigation infrastructure and public-private partnerships could be improved on, according to the Deputy Permanent Secretary.
Is the latter just a euphemism for large scale land acquisitions?
- Pressure up against illegal timber trade (August 7th) – The Tanzania Natural Resource Forum will focus on getting local communities more involved in managing local forest resources to ensure they offer tangible benefits to both current and future generations.
AgriSol is in the news again, there’s a ‘Gender and Land’ conference coming up in Holland and war with Malawi is not on the table (which, this being news, makes me think it is).
- August 6th AgriSol still has a lot to prove – AgriSol is getting more flack for its activities in Tanzania. Interestingly, the article states that AgriSol claims to have pulled out of the project that’s giving them so much trouble, presumably the one that required Burundian refugees to move.
- August 6th Gender and Land Governance Conference – January 2013 will see the Dutch town of Utrecht host a conference on gender and land. Abstracts are now being accepted.
- August 6th Protesters Call for Rastetter’s Ouster From Regents – AgriSol’s Bruce Rastetter faced a fresh call for resigning over his conflict of interest in relation to his company’s activities in Tanzania.
- August 6th Experts, politicians say No to war with Malawi – It sounds like non-news, but, for the moment, war with Malawi over where the border in lake Malawi falls, is not an option.
- August 3rd Tanzania plans sovereign wealth fund for gas finds – With Tanzania’s gas reserves growing, Kikwete announced that the government is investigating various models for revenue management.
- August 2nd Tanzania tough on Malawi – Is it land grabbing? Malawi claims the whole of lake Malawi is theirs, whereas Tanzania believes the border between the countries runs through the middle of the lake.
- August 1st Timber plunder upsets envoys – Representatives of Finland and Norway express concern over Tanzania’s failure to implement policies aimed at improving transparency and accountability in the forestry sector.
- August 1st ban on coastline construction – Some sources say that the Tanzanian government is going to implement a ban on construction as well as a removal of all buildings within 60 meters of the coast.
There will be a meeting for Let’s Talk Land Tanzania partners, formerly the Tanzania Land Portal partners and the Tanzania Land Alliance (TALA) at the ActionAid Tanzania office, on Monday August 13, 2012
TALA is a coalition of civil society organisations with strong expertise on advocacy in land governance and sustainable development. TALA won a competitive bid in May 2012 from the International Land Coalition (ILC) in Rome to lead an East African programme on articulating what a sustainable land based investment policy should entail.
The partners are meeting for reviewing their niche areas for collaboration in promoting the government’s sustainable land based investment policy and women land rights in Tanzania.