After an inspiring training period in the Netherlands in June and July, LANDac fellows returned to the countries in which they work and have started planning to conduct in-depth research on a variety of topics related to large-scale land-based investments across Africa. During the discussions in Utrecht over the summer, fellows committed themselves to conduct research and to continuously exchange knowledge, supported by LANDac, with the ultimate goal to find ways to better position communities to benefit from large-scale land-based investments.
After some time catching up on their work, fellows have decided on their research topics. Junior, based in Uganda, will be looking at the impacts of urbanization processes and land-based investments on people living in the Kibugambata community in the municipality of Jinja, a town that is about to receive an official status as a city. Junior will be working closely together with Teddy, who is researching the effects of a planned highway between the city of Kampala and Jinja, that goes hand-in-hand with the displacement of hundreds of families.
In Senegal, El Hadji is starting his research on the establishment of special economic zones (SEZ), looking at how these state-led developments will impact farming communities and in Kenya, Fridah is starting her research on alternative land investment models for large-scale land-based investments that include local women and men. Betelehem and Hiwot, both based in Ethiopia, have started their work on the impacts of a Dutch floriculture companies on local communities and last but not least, Salah is working on empowering men and women through community mapping tools in Sudan, where he is closely collaborating with the Dutch Embassy.
All fellows will start their work by first looking into the local context: who lives around these investments and what are their ambitions, priorities and challenges? Fellows will share the findings of their research through blogs and reports throughout the year through the LANDac website. Would you like to know more about their research projects or get in touch with one of the fellows? Contact coordinator Romy Santpoort (firstname.lastname@example.org).