Green and blue water dimensions of foreign direct investment in biofuel and foodproduction in West Africa

The case of Ghana and Mali

Authored by: Fred Kizito , Timothy O. Williams , Matthew McCartney , Teklu Erkossa

Handbook of Land and Water Grabs in Africa

Print publication date:  August  2012
Online publication date:  September  2012

Print ISBN: 9781857436693
eBook ISBN: 9780203110942
Adobe ISBN:


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West Africa in recent years has witnessed a new post-colonial wave of large-scale land acquisitions (LSLAs), predominantly by foreign investors, for the cultivation of biofuel and food crops. The growth drivers of these foreign direct investments (FDI) in agriculture are numerous and varied and have been extensively reviewed in recent studies (Cotula et al. 2009; Von Braun and Meinzen-Dick 2009; World Bank 2010; Zoomers 2010). Recipient governments in countries (e.g. Mali and Ghana) that have received FDI have welcomed and viewed it as a way of transforming their poorly performing agricultural sector through the infusion of capital, modern technology and infrastructure (Cotula et al. 2009; Diallo and Mushinzimana 2009; Ahwoi 2010; Oakland Institute 2011). None the less, questions remain about the long-term viability of these large-scale investments and the plantations they have spawned and about their consequences on national food security, local livelihoods and water use, including effects on ecosystem services.

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