Over 40 companies including Monsanto, Unilever and Diageo have joined an aid initiative launched by the G8, condemned by African civil society groups as a handover of farmland to foreign investors that will destroy their livelihoods. Join the campaign to divert the £395m to ecological smallholder farming in Africa.
Civil society groups have united to call on the government to withhold £395m in UK aid money that the prime minister has pledged to a private investment initiative launched by the G8 in order to expand the reach of multinational companies into Africa. Writing to The Guardian, War on Want, The World Development Movement, Friends of the Earth and others have criticised the scheme as "colonialism" and instead propose investment in ecological smallholder farming in Africa.
The New Alliance was launched by the G8 as a private sector investment platform for multinational corporations seeking to penetrate agricultural markets in Africa. Six African governments have already signed up to the initiative, with four more expected to join at the London hunger summit this week.
The African civil society statement notes: “Africa is seen as a possible new frontier to make profits, with an eye on land, food and biofuels in particular.” It notes that “blatant land grabs” backed by G8 powers such as the ProSavanna project in Mozambique are forcing farmers off their lands and destroying their livelihoods.
The African statement accuses the G8 of supporting multinational corporations like Yara, Monsanto, Syngenta, Cargill in their quest to privatise African agriculture: “Private ownership of knowledge and material resources (for example, seed and genetic materials) means the flow of royalties out of Africa into the hands of multinational corporations.”