George C. Schoneveld is a Scientist within the Forests and Governance Programme at the Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR), based in Nairobi, Kenya. He obtained his Ph.D. at Utrecht University through the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affair’s IS Academy on Land Governance. His research activities have focused strongly on sub-Saharan Africa (Ethiopia, Ghana, Nigeria, Tanzania, Zambia, and Zimbabwe) and to a lesser extent on Asia (India and Indonesia).
The rush for African farmland has created new opportunities for political and customary institutions to extract rents from hitherto poorly monetized land resources. This has facilitated the formation of new alliances shaped around global capital. They in turn undermine social accountability and the potential for much-needed agricultural investments to contribute to rural poverty alleviation.