In the nineteenth century scramble for Africa, European colonial powers took control of the continent’s land, resources and people. Today’s multinational corporations, aided by governments, are taking control over Africa’s food system.
Today’s multinational seed companies are scrambling to take control of African seed systems. Global agrochemical and fertiliser corporations are also pushing their products on farmers. To find out more about WDM’s agribusiness campaign click here The scramble for Africa saw European colonisers carve up most of the continent’s land and extract valuable natural resources.
To invest US$50 million to expand its operations over the continent over the next ten years.
To invest US$500 million to expand to a US$1 billion business in Africa over the next 10 years.
Looking to spend up to $2billion to get a foothold in east Africa by building a large chemical factory.
British rulers took over land, forcing Africans to pay rent by producing cash crops such as rubber and cocoa rather than food for themselves. The local population had few rights and were forced into the most dangerous and lowest paid jobs.
In Mozambique, the Portuguese handed over land to chartered companies that used forced labour on cotton and sugar plantations. The tax system was used to coerce Africans to produce for Portuguese settlers before themselves.
The French colonisers enacted laws introducing forced labour and made Africans second class citizens, denying them rights to vote, travel, protest or own property. An estimated 23,000 Africans died during the construction of the Chemin de Fer Congo-Océan railway.
The Belgian Empire was known for its brutal extraction of resources, especially from the Congo where it used forced labour to extract rubber and ivory.