Large-scale land acquisitions and minorities/indigenous peoples' rights under ethnic federalism in Ethiopia. A Case Study of Gambella Regional State
SupervisorPankhurst, Donna T.
MetadataView full catalogue record
KeywordsCase study; Gambella regional state; Ethiopia; Large-scale land acquisitions; Minorities; Indigenous people; Federalism; Land grabbing; Land rights; Political aspects
The University of Bradford theses are licenced under a Creative Commons Licence.
InstitutionUniversity of Bradford
DepartmentDepartment of Peace Studies
The contemporary phenomenon of the global rush for farmland has generated intense debate from different actors. While the proponents embrace it as a "development opportunity", the critics dub it "land grabbing". Others use a neutral term: "arge-scale land acquisitions". Whatever terminology is used, one fact remains indisputable - since 2007 vast swathes of farmlands in developing countries have been sold or leased out to large-scale commercial farmers. Ethiopia is one of the leading countries in Africa in this regard and, as a matter of state policy, it promotes these investments in peripheral regions that are predominantly inhabited by pastoralists and other indigenous communities. So far, the focus of most of the studies on this phenomenon has been on its economic, food security and environmental aspects. The questions of land rights and political implications have been to a great extent overlooked. The purpose of this thesis is to contribute to this knowledge gap by drawing upon the experience of the Gambella regional state - the epicentre of large-scale land acquisition in Ethiopia. To this end, this thesis argues that large-scale land acquisitions in Ethiopia is indeed redefining indigenous communities' right to land, territories and natural resources in fundamental ways. By doing so, it also threatens the post-1991 social contract - i.e. ethnic federalism - between the envisaged new Ethiopian state and its diverse communities, particularly the peripheral minorities and indigenous ethnic groups.