Agro-industrial investments in Cameroon: Large-scale land acquisition since 2005

April 2015
IIED (Samuel Nguiffo and Michelle Sonkoue White)

In recent years, Cameroon has been approached by growing numbers of local and international investors wanting to acquire arable land for large-scale agro-industrial operations. This study takes a closer look at large-scale land acquisitions since 2005. Examining the legal framework and the practical implications of these land acquisitions, it shows that there is a risk that they will affect the long-term capacity of communities to preserve their traditional way of living. Their territories are being substantially reduced, their ecological environment and social stability are threatened, and the situation is further exacerbated by the lack of transparency in the allocation process. The authors propose several possible solutions that will serve the long-term interests of both local populations and agro-industrial companies.