The contradictions of development: primitive accumulation and geopolitics in the two Sudans
Allan, J. A.
57 - 70
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Handbook of land and water grabs in Africa: foreign direct investment and food and water security
Routledge International Handbooks
The recent opening ceremony of the so-called Lamu Port and Lamu Southern Sudan-Ethiopia Transport Corridor (LAPSSET) has laid bare yet again the inherently contradictory nature of post-colonial development. The mega project creates a new East African transport corridor connecting land-locked South Sudan and Ethiopia with a 32-berth deep-sea water facility at the Indian Ocean. Among a variety of development objectives in the participating countries, the project is designed to oﬀer an alternative export route for South Sudanese crude oil. Since its independence, the ‘world’s newest country’ has been at loggerheads with its former rulers in Khartoum over a transfer fee for using the pipeline, reﬁneries and port facilities for the traditional export route through the Red Sea. Yet even though the project, if implemented, will have a tremendously positive eﬀect on South Sudan’s development potential, local communities in Lamu claim they have not been consulted over the development of the UNESCO heritage site into a major infrastructure hub (Gari 2012; York 2012). This dispute reﬂects but one of the imminent contradictions South Sudan faces in its eﬀort to catch up. Closer to home, Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) is sought to develop the post-war economy and increase state revenue (Sudan Tribune 2012a) as well as agricultural production as a means to boost food security (Lupai 2012). This strategy is inﬂuential across Africa (Bush et al. 2011: 188-9), but the Horn of Africa appears to be a special case due to its high vulnerability to food insecurity (USAID and Famine EarlyWarning SystemNetwork 2012). In fact, theUNWorld Food Programme (WFP) expects to feed up to half of South Sudan’s population in 2012 (WFP and FAO 2012). Measured by these objectives, the land investment activity in South Sudan to this day has not yielded great results. Acquisitions lacked good practice with regards to community consultation and environmental impact assessments (Deng 2011), while most transactions appear to remain merely speculative (Mosley 2012). It is not only food insecurity that remains a paramount issue for the Republic of South Sudan, however, but also the long-established need to diversify the economy after the dispute with the North has led to the loss of all oil revenues at a time when ‘internal’ and ‘external’ conﬂicts spiral and put heavy burdens on the stretched budget.