Land grabbing in Botswana: Modern era dispossession
Keywords:Botswana, land-tenure reforms, land grab, communal land
Land grab refers to the formal transfers of large tracts of communal land to foreign or locally based investors for carrying out activities associated with livestock rearing, carbon trading and commercial food production. With the acquiescence of host governments, transnational and multinational corporations are viewed as key players in land grabs. Among the major consequences of land grab is the involuntary loss of land by the rural poor. While the presence of external players in land grab is portrayed as dominant, this article introduces a land grab model where the dominant players are the host country’s ruling elite. Using case examples from Botswana, the article aims to expose the land-grabbing tendencies of the country’s land-tenure reforms, as well as document sites and spaces of resistance available for local communities to curtail land grabbing. It is contended that, in a bid to curb state-sponsored land grabbing, social justice activists in Botswana can draw lessons from the community initiatives discussed in this article.
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