What is new about these neo-colonial developments is the presence of and support from global governance institutions. As much of the land grabbing literature attests, and as this case confirms, international finance institutions in particular have been critical to the growth of large-scale acquisitions of land and other resources in Southern countries following the 2007-2008 crisis. Citadel Capital’s farm in South Sudan (Concord) will produce and transport staples for the South Sudanese army and the UN World Food Programme through lucrative contracts. The World Bank’s IFI and other finance institutions like the African Development Bank have been principle co-investors with Citadel Capital in its ‘green’ investments.

Rather than leading to anything that may be called ‘development’, partnerships between investors and global governance institutions represent greater control over vital resources and distribution routes for private wealth accumulation. Citadel Capital’s ‘gold corridor’ sheds light on these partnerships as not simply speculative in nature but as paths of capital accumulation in the medium term. In these ‘risky’ times, with (fears of) political instability in revolutionary Egypt and in other investor originating countries (e.g. Saudi Arabia), Citadel Capital is converting from a private equity firm, with short-term interests, to an investment bank with principle longer-term interests. Such a shift reveals quite convincingly anticipation of continued chronic food insecurity (as the firm renews continually its contract with the World Food Programme to transport food aid throughout the region) and corporate consolidation of agri-food systems (as it attempts to expand and integrate its market shares regionally – and other investors develop and expand their acquisitions in the region as well).


Kenana wants to more than double output to over 1 million tonnes annually and establish itself as a major exporter, managing director Mohamed El Mardi told Reuters in an interview.

Sudan, one of Africa’s largest sugar producers after Egypt and South Africa, imports more of the sweetener than it exports because of strong local demand. Officials hope new factories and other improvements will reverse that by 2014.

Rising sugar exports would also help the country make up for losing three quarters of its oil output when South Sudan seceded last year, fuelling a foreign currency shortage in the north. Oil used to account for about 90 percent of Sudan’s exports.


farmlandgrab.org | Egypt’s Citadel to grow crops in South Sudan
A unit of Egyptian private equity firm Citadel Capital plans to cultivate up to 40,000 acres of farmland in South Sudan to sell staple foods such as maize in the newly-independent nation, an executive said on Tuesday.
…The United Nations warns that around a third of the country’s roughly 8 million people will need food assistance this year after bad weather and violence hit farming. 
Citadel is investing about $30 million to produce staples such as maize, sorghum and sunflower in the oil-producing Unity state bordering South Kordofan, project manager Peter Schuurs told Reuters.   
 ‘We have so far 4,000 acres and we will be planting this year, primarily maize with some sorghum and sunflowers,’ said Schuurs, managing director of Concord Agriculture, a fully-owned Citadel unit. 
'Our focus is food security in South Sudan… we will be supplying the local markets,' he said on the sidelines of an investment conference in Juba. 'We will plant the crop in June.'
farmlandgrab.org | Egypt’s Citadel to grow crops in South Sudan

A unit of Egyptian private equity firm Citadel Capital plans to cultivate up to 40,000 acres of farmland in South Sudan to sell staple foods such as maize in the newly-independent nation, an executive said on Tuesday.

…The United Nations warns that around a third of the country’s roughly 8 million people will need food assistance this year after bad weather and violence hit farming.

Citadel is investing about $30 million to produce staples such as maize, sorghum and sunflower in the oil-producing Unity state bordering South Kordofan, project manager Peter Schuurs told Reuters.

‘We have so far 4,000 acres and we will be planting this year, primarily maize with some sorghum and sunflowers,’ said Schuurs, managing director of Concord Agriculture, a fully-owned Citadel unit.

'Our focus is food security in South Sudan… we will be supplying the local markets,' he said on the sidelines of an investment conference in Juba. 'We will plant the crop in June.'


News coverage to date has emphasised the role that countries including China and India have played in the acceleration of land acquisitions in Africa. Although Indian firms are active in countries like Ethiopia, the Oakland Institute’s investigation shows a major role of western firms, wealthy US and European individuals, and investment funds with ties to major banks such as Goldman Sachs and JP Morgan.

Investors include not only alternative investment firms like the London-based Emergent Asset Management that works to attract speculators, including universities such as Harvard (who has maintained secrecy on such potentially unpopular activities), Spelman, and Vanderbilt – with a primary motivation of economic access to agricultural land that will have high returns for the endowment.

Several Texas-based interests are associated with a major 600,000 ha South Sudan deal which involves Kinyeti Development, LLC, an Austin, Texas-based “global business development partnership and holding company,” managed by Howard Eugene Douglas, a former United States Ambassador at Large and Coordinator for Refugee Affairs.

A key player in the largest land deal in Tanzania is Iowa agribusiness entrepreneur and Republican Party stalwart, Bruce Rastetter, who concurrently serves as CEO of Pharos Ag, co-founder and Managing Director of AgriSol Energy, CEO of Summit Farms, and is an important donor to the Iowa State University. Rastetter was recently appointed to the Iowa Board of Regents by Terry Branstad, Iowa’s Governor, who received a substantial sum from Rastetter for his 2010 campaign. Iowa State University provides “private” research services that benefit Rastetter’s investments in Tanzania.

US companies are often below the radar, using subsidiaries registered in other countries, like Petrotech-ffn Agro Mali which is a subsidiary of Petrotech-ffn USA.

Many European companies are also involved, often with support provided by their governments and embassies in African countries. For instance, Swedish and German firms have strong interests in the production of biofuels in Tanzania. Major investors in Sierra Leone include Addax Bioenergy from Switzerland and Quifel International Holdings (QIH) from Portugal. Sierra Leone Agriculture (SLA) is actually a subsidiary of the UK based Crad-l (CAPARO Renewable Agriculture Developments Ltd.), associated with the Tony Blair African Governance Initiative.