Regular readers will know that I have a soft spot for Nchelenge, as that is where I grew up. So this news has made my day indeed. Let us hope the project will be one of many!
I would have a few questions though: 1) 9500 hectares is a lot of land. Are the people who live there now going to be thrown off as 'squatters'? 2) Who are the shareholders? Who will financially benefit from this investment? Who is the mysterious 'Markford' or 'Mark Ford'? How many shared does Chief Kambwali own? 3) What are the conditions of this investment? How much of the company's profits will be re-invested locally? 4) What is the environmental impact? I don't want to be negative at all, but we have seen poor investment terms in the development agreements before. If this investment is used as a multiplier effect on the local economy - not just jobs, but supporting and training local suppliers, laying out infrastructure, it would be good for the economy. Basically the question is whether this is another capitulation to corporate interests, or whether the emphasis is on development.
lol!I suspect this is indeed another not well integrated project. It looks like a straight deal between the Chief Kambwali (oh..I can picture the area just now) and the mysterious Mark Ford. But these deals are many on the grounds....the clever chiefs are getting a long term deal...the weak ones are just getting cash...(that of course is actually illegal..they are not allowed to sell customary land)..
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