In Mozambique, the clergy denounced excessive land acquisition by foreigners
In Mozambique, the clergy denounced the excessive exploitation of rural land by foreign investors. This was revealed in a recently published pastoral letter.
“The exploitation of African lands by industrialized countries favors the marginalization and impoverishment of local communities. From 2000 to 2013, 56 million hectares of lands in Africa have been sold or awarded to foreigners. This in a context where, in Mozambique for example, 70% of the population is situated in rural areas and lives on agriculture,” declared the Mozambique Episcopal Conference (MEC).
Bishop João Carlos Hatoa Nunes, MEC’s interim secretary general went further, saying: “in all of Mozambique’s provinces, there are conflicts and these are fueled by the fact that too many foreign companies use the land. Due to the absence of land rights, industrialized governments overexploit African lands, using the food and energy crises as an excuse, disregarding development issues of local communities”.
Highlighting that the phenomenon threatens food security and livelihood of Mozambique’s local communities, MEC asked for “a complete restructuring of the land management system through the implementation of a reform which respects each and everyone’s rights, especially that of the most vulnerable who have no support or protection”.