World Bank Allows Tanzania To Sidestep Rule Protecting Indigenous Groups

Published on International Consortium of Investigative Journalists ICIJ, by Sacha Chavkin and Dana Ullman, June 20, 2016.

Last year, after fierce protests from human rights groups, the World Bank retreated from a proposal that would have allowed its borrowers to sidestep its rules for protecting indigenous communities.

Now the World Bank’s board has granted a massive agribusiness project in East Africa a waiver that exempts it from following the bank’s Indigenous Peoples Policy—sparking fears that the development lender is making an end run to resurrect a policy that it abandoned in public … //

… At issue is a $70 million World Bank loan for the Southern Agricultural Growth Corridor of Tanzania, or SAGCOT, a Tanzanian government initiative designed to encourage foreign investment in commercial agriculture. Some of the fertile agricultural lands that SAGCOT is transferring to investors are being cleared by evictions of cattle herders in the Barabaig, Maasai and other indigenous communities … //

… Tanzania’s government contends that no ethnic groups in Tanzania are more indigenous than others because all Tanzanians are equal under the law. It successfully petitioned the bank to waive its policy requiring borrowers to consult and win “broad support” from indigenous groups in order to approve a project that affects them.

The bank approved an exemption to the Indigenous Peoples Policy for SAGCOT on March 10. The bank’s board also appears to poised to approve a second exemption to the indigenous peoples standard for another project in Tanzania, an initiative to aid poor families with cash transfers and other assistance.

(full text).

Related Links:

Statue honours Indigenous people at Canadian Museum for Human Rights, on, June 21, 2016;

Health of indigenous peoples/Factsheet no 326, on, October 2007;

on en.wikipedia:

Indigenous People

on some few Websites:

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