Aid for Diageo? UK's private-sector emphasis comes under scrutiny | Felicity Lawrence

From Aid | The Guardian Tue Dec 11 2012, 06:30:14

Critics say UK aid invested in public-private partnerships could tighten massive agriculture firms' control over the food chain

Chancellor George Osborne confirmed in his autumn statement last week that the UK overseas aid budget would take a hit as the economy contracts. The prime minister, David Cameron, has pledged he will keep the promise made to raise UK aid to 0.7% of gross national income by 2013, to meet UN targets.

With growth forecasts cut, the amount of money going to overseas development will be less than planned but will still represent a substantial increase on previous years. How that extra money should be best spent to alleviate poverty is likely to be the subject of increasing debate, as NGOs work to keep the British public on side.

War on Want, one of the more radical agencies, is highly critical of funding by the Department for International Development for public-private partnerships that may increase the control of agribusiness over the food chain. It points to two projects that have received significant support from DfID. In Tanzania, a public-private partnership called the Southern Agricultural Growth Corridor of Tanzania (Sagcot) aims to bring 350,000 hectares (865,000 acres) of land under agricultural production and generate $2.1bn (£1.3bn) of private-sector investment. Partners include Unilever, drinks companies Diageo and SABMiller, agrochemical companies Monsanto, Syngenta and DuPont, and fertiliser corporation Yara. DfID and other international donors are paying to upgrade the road infrastructure.

[view whole blog post ]
 See More    |     Report Abuse

You might also be interested in the following news stories:

South Sudan:   Armed Groups Free 145 Child Soldiers (news)
Deutsche Welle
26 October 2016

UNICEF says it has negotiated the largest single release of child soldiers in South Sudan since 2015. Once reunited with family they receive three months of food aid and livestock. Two armed groups in ... [read more]

Somalia:   Militants Seize Port Town (news)
Deutsche Welle
26 October 2016

A militant group linked to the self-proclaimed "Islamic State" (IS) has taken control of a small port in the Horn of Africa. The organization is a rival to the al-Shabab terror group, which is linked ... [read more]

South Africa:   Thousands in Fees Must Fall March On Parliament (news)
26 October 2016

Several thousand students marched through Cape Town today to demand "free decolonised education". Just as the march was set to end and disperse violence broke out, bringing chaos to the CBD. Earlier ... [read more]

blogAfrica is's platform to help you keep an ear on the African blogosphere. We draw diverse voices from around the world who post regularly and insightfully about African issues. Bloggers, submit your blog's rss-feed!