The book revisits the debate on the land and agrarian questions, taking a leaf from leading scholars on land and agriculture in Africa such as Samir Amin, Dessalegn Rahmato, Archie Mafeje, Achola Pala Okeyo and Sam Moyo, while infusing emerging challenges on land grabs and dilemmas on policy choices in the global South. Having been at the core of Africa’s colonisation project, the land question has remained unresolved in many African countries. There are indeed many studies and books that assess the land and agrarian question in Africa, yet several decades after the attainment of independence by most African countries the endemic systems of colonialism and imperialism shape approaches to the land issue. A clash of visions about the role of land and how to configure its ownership as ideas, ideologies and political intentions continue to attract contestation.
In this book, contributors go beyond assessing changes and transfers of land between colonists and the disenfranchised African population. The book explores how the law and the mind have remained captured in Eurocentric epistemologies and thus underscoring the preoccupation with property rights and thus the need to remain in harmony with global capital, enabling colonial systems to persist. The book therefore provides a fresh theoretical lens in assessing the land and agrarian questions, using radical agrarian political economy to underscore the imperative for decolonising the land and a basis for creating new platforms for social change and broadened accumulation by the indigenes.
Essentially, this book takes the land and agriculture debate further by analysing the subject across many African countries with differentiated historical trajectories in relation to the issue of land. The book relies on empirical evidence to argue for hastening of land reforms and for promoting agrarian led development in Africa. In the many countries analysed in this book, land reforms have not gone well and as such the whole of Africa suffers from food insecurity. African countries ought to rethink about land and agrarian transformation if inclusive development is to take place.
Contributing authors in this book rely on Afrocentric thought and empirical data collected in recent years to suggest that a radical shift in land redistribution approaches will deliver rural transformation. This vision challenges the capitalist conception that demerits the quest to reverse historical injustices underway and the need to create new pathways for African accumulation. Rethinking the land and agrarian questions in Africa is dedicated to Sam Moyo whose work and mentorship guided some of the authors as well as the editors of the book. The book carries forward his work and dedication to the emancipation of Africans, underpinned by agrarian surplus capital. This is a must read for policy makers, researchers and students as well as anyone who cares about the future of the African continent.