For half a century they have done nothing but run their economies aground, jail, kill or exile dissidents and steal as much as they could from their economies. All in the name of the people. Now (a subset of) African leaders are busy selling or facilitating the sale of arable African land away – for bio-fuel production or for production of food exportions – while their own people starve.
At this rate the Continent, despite its massive agricultural potential, will remain a net food importer for a very long time to come.
The Economist reports:
THE farmers of Makeni, in central Sierra Leone, signed the contract with their thumbs. In exchange for promises of 2,000 jobs, and reassurances that the bolis (swamps where rice is grown) would not be drained, they approved a deal granting a Swiss company a 50-year lease on 40,000 hectares of land to grow biofuels for Europe. Three years later 50 new jobs exist, irrigation has damaged the bolis and such development as there has been has come “at the social, environmental and economic expense of local communities”, says Elisa Da Vià of Cornell University.