Land acquisitions in West Africa: overview, drivers and issues for security

Land acquisitions in West Africa have soared to an unprecedented level in the wake of the 2007-2008 food crisis, giving way to a heated debate on the vulnerability of local communities to the processes of globalization. Large transnational land deals are indeed only part of larger, deeper dynamics that run through regional societies, and the world. They bring with them a range of opportunities and risks, including for the human security of populations already grappling with poverty and underdevelopment. This paper aims at restituting the nuances and complexity of the “land grabbing” theme so as to delineate its consequences in terms of security, and the tools available to tackle them.