CELADA is happy to announce that our roundtable on African land grabs, held on parliament hill on Feb. 25, 2014, was a resounding success thanks to the assistance of Hélène Laverdière, Member of Parliament for Laurier-Ste.Marie and official opposition critic for international development. With roughly 50 people in attendance, the event brought together Members of Parliament, academics, researchers and members of the development NGO community. The forum allowed these attendees to engage and debate with our speakers, who included Robert Fox, Executive Director of Oxfam Canada; Obang Metho, Executive Director of Solidarity Movement for the New Ethiopia; and Maggy Razafimbahiny, member of CELADA and development activist (biographies available here).
The discussion generated a number of ideas and suggestions to tackle the rising tide of land-grabs resulting in involuntary displacement of customary inhabitants in Africa and other developing countries. One proposal that CELADA is currently pursuing as a follow up to this event is to encourage the House Committee on Foreign Affairs and International Development to hold a hearing to consider the views and recommendations of experts and, if possible, local residents from countries dealing with land grabs.
Please stay tuned for more updates on this next step. In the meantime, for more details on what was discussed at the roundtable and to learn more about CELADA’s motivation for organizing this event, please read:
Land-Grabs Expropriate Poor Farmers’ Livelihoods – a guest blog on the McLeod Group Blog written by CELADA’s Chair, Roy Culpeper.
Roundtable Outcomes Document – provides more details on the roundtable event discussed above.