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).