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June 12, 2011

US university trusts are '21st centrury colonialists' for funding African land leases

by Kevin Schortgen


University trusts for institutions such as Harvard, Texas, and many other American colleges hold billions of dollars o of investable funds.  With China leading the way in acquisition of commodities and other resources as the dollar and other world currencies begin to fail, these college trusts are following in those footsteps to create a new form of 21st century colonialism.

On June 8th, a new report out on land acquistion on the continent of Africa shows that American university endowments may be buying up land en masse, and at the detriment of the native landowners and generational farmers.

The parallels to 19th century Boer colonialism in Africa are striking.

Harvard and other major American universities are working through British hedge funds and European financial speculators to buy or lease vast areas of African farmland in deals, some of which may force many thousands of people off their land, according to a new study.
The new report on land acquisitions in seven African countries suggests that Harvard, Vanderbilt and many other US colleges with large endowment funds have invested heavily in African land in the past few years. Much of the money is said to be channelled through London-based Emergent asset management, which runs one of Africa's largest land acquisition funds, run by former JP Morgan and Goldman Sachs currency dealers. – Guardian UK

The primary difference today versus the European invasion of Africa in the 19th century for control over resources is that no longer are the invaders nation states, but instead corporate entities hidden behind a myriad of holding companies and hedge funds.

With what we have seen in the Middle East during the arab uprisings, food is the primary commodity that will be used for control and change across the world.  With corporations, in this case University trusts, purchasing land in bread basket areas of the third world at the expense of the native farmers and populations, a new era of colonialism is beginning under the guise of corporatism.

As University trusts and endowments seek to follow the path pioneered over the last decade by China in using American dollars to buy commodities, land, and other resources from areas around the world, the new lines have been drawn for a 21st century form of colonialism.  Only this time, the controllers are primarily faceless corporations, and not monarch led nation states.

The Examiner

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