CAO Cases

Arne Hoel, The World Bank

Sub-Saharan Africa

Uganda / Agri-Vie Fund-02/Mubende

Complainant
Affected community representatives, Oxfam International, Oxfam Great Britain, and Uganda Land Alliance
Date Filed
December 20, 2011
Case Status
Open - Ombudsman
 

Synopsis

Complaint

The IFC-supported Agri-Vie Agribusiness Fund is a private equity fund with the purpose of making equity investments in agribusiness companies in Southern and Eastern Africa. In its current portfolio, Agri-Vie has invested in New Forests Company (NFC), a UK-based forestry company operating established and growing timber plantations in Eastern Africa. Operational in Uganda since 2005, NFC operates three pine and eucalyptus plantations - in the Mubende, Kiboga and Bugiri districts respectively.

 

In December 2011, four affected community representatives, Oxfam International, Oxfam Great Britain, and the Uganda Land Alliance (a national consortium of organizations advocating on land issues) submitted a complaint to the CAO on behalf of people living around the plantation in Mubende. The complaint raised concerns about evictions and displacement in the plantation area, alleging that the evictions negatively impacted the communities by displacing them from land, destroying their private property, and forcing them to forgo health, education, and livelihood opportunities. The complaint also voiced broader concerns about the IFC’s due diligence. 

 

CAO Action
CAO found the complaint eligible for further assessment in January 2012. The CAO team travelled to the field in February and March to meet with the relevant stakeholders to explore options for a collaborative solution of the issues raised in the complaint. After CAO conducted its assessment, both the representatives of the Mubende affected community and NFC indicated their willingness to participate in a mediation process facilitated by CAO. This is captured in CAO's Assessment Report, which is available under "View Documents" below.

 

The mediation process aimed at finding an acceptable and workable solution between the Mubende Community representatives and NFC (“parties”). Over 2012 and early 2013, the CAO mediator conducted extensive caucus sessions with each of the parties, as well as their advisors (Oxfam, Uganda Land Alliance).  The contents of these caucuses are by agreement confidential, and will not be reported on. The mediator also facilitated direct bilateral discussions and negotiation sessions between the parties, and assisted the parties in developing greater understanding of the issues at hand. The CAO mediation team also worked extensively with the parties, and more particularly the affected community representatives, to ensure they had the requisite capacity to participate in the mediation process.

 

Status

In March 2013, the parties signed a Framework Agreement which captured a range of agreed upon principles. In July 2013, after further engagement, the items highlighted in the Framework Agreement were formalised into a Final Agreement. In terms of the CAO process, this Final Agreement between NFC and the Mubende community brings to an end the CAO dispute resolution process. However, CAO continues to monitor and evaluate implementation of the agreement between the parties. An updated Progress Report is available under "View Documents" below.

 

All documents related to this case are available at the below link. For information on the first Agri-Vie complaint, see CAO case "Uganda/Agri-Vie Fund-01/Kiboga".

 

Updated: April 07, 2014

Project information

Institution
IFC
Project Name & Number
Agri-Vie Fund 27674
Department
Global Financial Markets
Company
Agri-Vie Fund PCC
Sector
Agribusiness
Region
Sub-Saharan Africa
Country
Uganda
Environmental Category
FI
Commitment
US$7m equity investment

Case Tracker

Ombudsman

  • Eligible: Completed
  • Assessment Period: Completed
  • Facilitating Settlement: Completed
  • Monitoring/Close-out: In Process

Compliance

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