Africa

Date of publication
January 2012
Geographical focus

Significant progress has been made over the past decade or so in the development of policy and legislation that support the recognition of customary rights to land, with important legal rulings in Tanzania, Uganda, Mozambique, South Sudan, and South Africa. At the same time, the strengthening of communities’ traditional rights to use resources has progressed through community forest reserves and community conservation areas. However, many commons remain highly vulnerable, with land being removed by governments for national parks and large tracts appropriated for commercial agricultural investment on a regular basis. In particular this is true of the rangelands, where external interest in land for agriculture, and in its resources for other commercial ventures such as tourism, has grown. Even the most progressive policies and legislation still fail to provide adequate protection to many rangeland users and, most commonly, to the poorest and least powerful. At the same time, customary institutions that would have provided adequate protection in the past have been weakened due to both internal and external influences. This is the situation faced by many members of the International Land Coalition (ILC) working with rural communities who are highly vulnerable to land and resource appropriation and loss. In an attempt to address this, in October 2010 ILC brought a group of its members together in Addis Ababa to develop a learning initiative that will explore this topic through 2011–2012.1 The aim of this initiative is to identify ways in which the security of customary land users over their common property resources (including land) can be strengthened. In particular, it will focus on multi-use landscapes or territories such as rangelands, where the vulnerability of land and resource users is particularly high. As a first step in the development of the learning initiative, this scoping paper explores past and present experiences of land and resource tenure in rangelands (predominantly in Africa, where the bulk of the rangelands are located). It discusses the limitations of many of the tools and systems used to date, and identifies alternatives that have potential for providing greater security of tenure to rangeland users in the future. The further exploration of these alternatives will be the task of those taking part in the learning initiative over the next year. This document is a Working Document, and feedback, input and suggestions are welcomed by the author.

Date of publication
January 2011
Geographical focus

Just a couple weeks ago,  Iowa State University (ISU) withdrew from advising the Iowa-based firm AgriSol Energy on itsplanned land deal in Tanzania. AgriSol Energy is seeking to acquire 320,000 hectares in Rukwa Region for large-scalefood and biofuel  production[i] . ISUs role had been to ensure that the for profit venture be socially responsible. However, the development of AgriSol’s large-scale farm re quires the eviction of 162,000 localfarmers – hardly a benefit to the  local communities.

Read more at Biofuel Investments Threaten Local Land Rights in Tanzania.




[i] Iowa-based Summit Group and Global Agriculture Fund of the Pharos Financial Group, in partnership with AgriSol Energy LLC and the College of Agriculture andLife Sciences at Iowa State University, are developing a large agriculture enterprise in Tanzania. The site encompasses three “abandoned refugee camps”– Lugufu inKigoma province (25,000 ha), Katumba (80,317 ha), and Mishamo (219,800 ha), both in Rukwa province. .

 

Date of publication
January 2011
Geographical focus

This lesson brief presents the laws that give people access and secure rights to land. These laws encourage investment in the land and can establish a foundation on which rural families can grow their incomes and assets. It is part of the Focus on Land in Africa: Land Tenure and Property Rights online educational tool.

Date of publication
January 2011
Geographical focus

This lesson brief focuses on how issues of unaffordable land and land formalization processes in Mali have fueled tenure insecurity for the urban poor.  It is part of the Focus on Land in Africa: Land Tenure and Property Rights online educational tool. In Mali, many of the urban poor face tenure insecurity which leaves them vulnerable to expropriation, landlessness, and poverty.

Date of publication
January 2011
Geographical focus

This lesson brief explores the multiple independent phenomena that affect relationships between farmers and herders, as well as the nature of their conflicts over natural resources in Mali. It is part of the Focus on Land in Africa: Land Tenure and Property Rights online educational tool. Mali is experiencing population pressures, soil degradation, more intense and variable drought cycles, and shifts in agricultural practices. This has contributed to the expansion of land under cultivation and decreased availability of land for grazing animals.

Date of publication
January 2011
Geographical focus

This lesson brief examines the statutory frameworks governing decentralization in Mali and the challenges that have arisen. It is part of the Focus on Land in Africa: Land Tenure and Property Right online educational tool. When properly implemented, the decentralization of authority over land and natural resources to the local level can lead to improved resource management, create an enabling environment for local tenure systems, and strenghten legal recognition of customary land rights.

Date of publication
January 2011
Geographical focus

This lesson brief discusses the stratutory, customary, and religious frameworks governing women's rights to land in Mali and offers suggestions as to how these rights might be strenghtened.  It is part of the Focus on Land in Africa: Land Tenure and Property Right online educational tool. In Mali, women's rights to land are limited by statutory, customary, and religious law. Under customary law, women typically access land through their husbands or other male relatives.

Date of publication
January 2011
Geographical focus

This lesson brief discusses projects developed to reinvigorate the process of land registration formalization in peri-urban Ghana, their impacts, and the risks of unintended consequences for women, pastorlaists and the poor if their rights are explicitly taken into account. It is part of the Focus on Land in Africa: Land Tenure and Property Rights online educational tool.

Date of publication
January 2011
Geographical focus

This lesson brief discusses the dangers and opportunities of increasing biofuel cultivation in Ghana and provides recommendations for a national policy governing this sector. It is part of the Focus on Land in Africa: Land Tenure and Property Rights online educational tool.

Date of publication
January 2005
Geographical focus

This document is a collection of briefs that summarizes select papers presented at the 2005 workshop: “Land Rights for African Development: From Knowledge to Action” hosted by UNDPs Drylands Development Center and the International Land Coalition. The workshop addressed key land tenure issues in Africa that influence food security, environmental sustainability, agricultural intensification, conflict, peace building and broader rural development. The 12 briefs contained in this collection captures  a wide range of issues and reflect on the innovations necessary for securing tenure for the poor under a variety of settings.

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