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Republic of the Congo

Yearbook 2011

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.

2011 Republic of the Congo

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 criticism.

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