SP wins Parliament’s support to give substance to development cooperation with Africa

9 December 2016

SP wins Parliament’s support to give substance to development cooperation with Africa

Thanks to proposals from the SP, Dutch development aid to Africa is about to be given more substance. Half a million euros will be spent on intensifying the work of the LAND Partnership, which helps governments to create a reliable registration system for land rights.

90% of land in Africa has no clear owner, making the de facto owners vulnerable to land theft, with its negative consequences for human rights, the environment and economic development. Land is handed out far too easily in order to lure investors, with the result that people who have lived on and farmed the same land for generations on the basis of customary rights are being driven off their property.

SP Member of Parliament and development expert Eric Smaling, welcoming Parliament’s backing of the SP proposals, said that he was pleased that they had been adopted. “The registration of land rights is only made more urgent now that the value of land around capital cities and other major towns is rising rapidly,” he explained. “This leads to abuses of which women are the principal victims.”

In addition to the resolution to increase Dutch support for land registration efforts, Parliament endorsed a proposal that should lead to more employment opportunities in Africa. Its aim is to help young entrepreneurs from Africa and the Netherlands to work together to establish enterprises in Africa and thereby create jobs.

“Investing in youth in Africa is one of the major points of the SP’s new vision of development cooperation,” said Smaling. “By investing in the younger African generation you’re making a double investment in the future. Youth unemployment will be reduced and in that way so will the incentive to migrate to Europe.”

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