Panel 9

Rural change and the ‘new’ resource frontiers in Africa

Panel organisers: Atakilte Beyene and Terje Oestigaard, The Nordic Africa Institute, Sweden.


On one hand, poverty, food insecurity and governance of natural resources continue to be major challenges for many countries in Africa. On the other, these countries are also undergoing rapid processes of changes. During the last fifteen years, a confluence of economic growth, urbanization and growing demands for food, fiber and feed has brought a renewed interest for African’s crucial natural resources. Driven by motives to accelerate economic growth and modernization of the economies, the roles of the states in Africa, which was on retreat in the 1980 and 1990s, have increasingly become proactive in promoting the private- and public-driven large-scale investments in water and land in particular and agriculture in general.

Thus, this panel calls for research papers that address one or more of the following topics:
1) Legal and institutional contexts pertaining investments in water and land investment
2) Impacts of the private sector on rural/local economic dynamics
3) Prospects of rural change and transformation
4) Theoretical and conceptual reflections on the framing of the ‘rural’ in contexts of global resource competition.

The session will conclude with a book launch of four Current African Issues publications.

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