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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Geopolitical drivers of foreign investment in African land and water resources
Authors:Sebastian, Antoinette G.
Warner, Jeroen F.
Periodical:African Identities (ISSN 1472-5851)
Geographic terms:South Africa
Congo (Republic of)
Congo (Democratic Republic of)
Subjects:land acquisition
South-South relations
Abstract:Resource grabs, particularly land and water grabs, can be a proxy for geopolitical influence. As such, 'grabs' become intertwined in international power relations and the competing collective goals and State priorities of economic development, poverty elimination, ecosystem management, energy, self-sufficiency, and food supply stability. African land has become the most appealing and vulnerable to acquisition. In this article the authors analyse investor actions in Africa by South Africa to explain how regional and global geopolitics are fostering a 'new' scramble for natural resources on the African continent. This south-south geopolitical concern examines South Africa's investment in the Democratic Republic of Congo, the Republic of Congo, and Lesotho. The authors argue that 'grabbing' is often not the foremost factor in south-south relations and, as such, is an inadequate basis for exploring the role of domestic capital and government investment corporations. They contend that grabbing is not only about food, finances, energy, or even water itself, but also about geopolitical influence. Land and water resource acquisition become intertwined in international power relations and the competing goals of State priorities. The article uses an International Relations framework to analyse these complex relationships. Its central argument is that countries with limited arable land 'securitize' their food supply and seek ways to increase the supply of food and sources of 'virtual' water by targeting 'easy targets' for resource imperialism, such as weak States. Bibliogr., notes, sum. [Journal abstract]