One year ago, the 26th of April 2012, during the Land and Poverty Conference organised in Washington by World Bank, the Land Matrix partnership launched the online database “Land Matrix” [http://www.landportal.info/landmatrix]. The main purpose was to encourage researchers, governments, citizens and companies to provide more data on land acquisitions.
In the last 3 weeks I have been conducting fieldwork in The Gambia and Senegal in the framework of the AFRASO project Asian development assistance in Senegambia. My focus is on development cooperation in the agricultural sector. And in the case of The Gambia, the Republic of China (ROC, Taiwan) is one of the most important bilateral donors, particularly after 2005.
Strolling along the beach front of Durban’s Central Business District with its mixture of modern high-rises and colonial-era buildings one can easily understand why South Africa chose the city for hosting the 5th BRICS Summit in March 2013: The modern hotels, conference centers and boulevards represent the South Africa Pretoria wanted to show the Brazilian, Russian, Indian and Chinese heads of state. After all, South Africa is under some pressure to justify its entry into the exclusive grouping in 2010, since in terms of GDP and domestic market it hardly lives up to the other four countries.