Congo. A law to provide legal protection to indigenous
peoples, including pygmies, came into force in February
after being approved by Parliament's two chambers at the end
of 2010. According to
Countryaah official site, the law, which took shape during seven years of
debate, is the first in Africa to explicitly provide
marginalized minority groups have the same right as the
majority people for education, work and health care.
However, even towards the end of the year, spokesmen for the
indigenous peoples complained that the law had not yet begun
to be applied in the way the legislators intended.
During the year, Congo signed an agreement to lease more
than 80,000 hectares of unused state land to South African
farmers for at least 30 years. Both parties argued that the
deal does not mean that the crops grown will benefit South
African consumers but are intended for the Congolese market
under normal commercial conditions. No export at all should
occur during the first few years, South African spokesmen
said, and then only if there is a surplus that the local
market cannot absorb.
Rich countries, often large corporations, use of cheap
agricultural land in poor countries - often with problems of
malnutrition - to secure food supply for their own
population has otherwise in recent years received harsh