The paper analyses the socio-economic implications of land grabbing among the Nuer people in the Gambella region of Ethiopia. To achieve its goals, the study is underpinned by two interrelated questions. The first question is: what are the socio-economic implications of land grabs in the Gambella Region of Ethiopia? The second question reads: what are the contestations and perceptions of the Nuer peoples in terms of gains and losses from the land grabs? The study was carried out among a Nilo-Saharan group known as the Nuer which traces its roots from Sudan within the qualitative research methodology. Findings from the study shows that land grabbing, which comes through large scale land takeovers in the Gambella region of Ethiopia, contradicts a state-remaking project under a dispossessive political economy. It was noted that the land grabs destruct the Nuer people’s identity, strip them of their dignity, disturb their ancestral philosophies, and negatively affect their livelihoods.


Nuer, Gambella, sub-Saharan Africa, Ethiopia, land grabbing, livelihoods, identity, dignity, ethnography, qualitative

Author Bio(s)

Mehari Fisseha is a PhD candidate in development studies at the University of Pretoria. Prior to this, he has a law degree, an MA in governance and political transformation, an MA in peacebuilding and an MComm in Government and Public Policy. He researches mainly among others are development, peace, diplomacy, conflict, migration, and governance. Please direct correspondence to mehari.fisseha@outlook.com.

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