Land Rights publications

Land Rights in Africa publications from various sources

  • July 2018

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  • LANDac

The Netherlands Land Academy (LANDac), the Food & Business Knowledge Platform, CIFOR and Shared Value Foundation (SVF) jointly set out in 2017 to design and implement 3 multi-stakeholder Learning Platforms around investment hubs in Mozambique (the Beira Corridor), Tanzania (Kilombero Valley) and Uganda (the Jinja-Kampala Corridor). Land-based investments have shown that deals often lead to conflicts between investors and local populations, which negatively effects local livelihoods and food security. A main issue in these conflicts is the lack of information at and knowledge about the local level. Hence the project aimed to bring different stakeholders together, improve the quality and flow of information between these actors, and generate new ideas for creating shared value. Over the course of one year, SVF conducted in-depth, local research, organized multi-stakeholder meetings and conducted follow-up activities for implementation and monitoring. The final synthesis report presents the methodology, the outcomes as well as the experiences and lessons learned throughout the project. It is accompanied by the 3 country reports.

  • July 2018

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  • Milieudefensie (Friends of the Earth Netherlands)

Report shows that Dutch-based banks continue to finance deforestation and land grabbing in Liberia. Thousands have lost their homes, local communities have been intimidated or imprisoned, and large swathes of forest have been cleared or burnt down. Milieudefensie argues that it is time for the banks to fulfil their sustainable banking promises, and to withdraw their investments in the industrial palm oil sector as soon as possible.

  • July 2018

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  • World Resources Institute

Indigenous and community lands, crucial for rural livelihoods, are typically held under informal customary arrangements. This can leave the land vulnerable to outside commercial interests, so communities may seek to formalize their land rights in a government registry and obtain an official land document. But this process is often time-consuming, complex and costly and, in contrast, companies can acquire land relatively quickly and find short-cuts around regulatory burdens. Report maps these inequities in 15 countries (including Cameroon, Ivory Coast, Mozambique, Tanzania and Uganda) and offers recommendations on how to level the playing field.

  • June 2018

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  • Le monde diplomatique (Stefano Liberti)

A history of the successful resistance by Mozambican villagers and the farmers’ union UNAC against Africa’s biggest agro-industrial programme, ProSavana, which was an attempt, funded by Brazil and Japan, to transform northern Mozambique’s Nacala Corridor into Brazil’s Mato Grosso, despite the glaringly obvious differences between the two.

  • June 2018

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  • GRAIN

GRAIN has documented at least 135 farmland deals for food crop production that have backfired between 2007 and 2017. They represent 17.5 million hectares. These are not failed land grabs, since the land almost never goes back to the communities, but failed agribusiness projects. While higher standards of due diligence and stronger forms of liability are surely needed, the real challenge is to get the land back to the communities. No one should rest until that is achieved. The enormity and number of these failed farmland deals tell us that they should never have been allowed to happen in the first place. Investment is needed in policies and initiatives to support food production by local communities, not opening the doors to agribusiness.

  • May 2018

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  • Anywaa Survival Organisation

Includes the indigenous peoples of Ethiopia; Ethiopia’s dire context; food insecurity; land grabs, conflicts and food security; development by displacement I: Ethiopia’s land investment policies; table of land deals with foreign companies in Gambela since 2007; development by displacement II: Ethiopia’s villagization programme; Voluntary Guidelines; time to close the door on land grabbing in Gambela. Concludes that it is time for change.

  • May 2018

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  • Lutheran World Federation

A video showing how Lutheran World Federation is working with rural communities, village chiefs, local and national administration to raise awareness and to support people in claiming their legal rights in a context in which a land law was passed to protect small-scale farmers and rural communities but often the legal procedure is not respected and farmers lose the land on which their livelihood depends.

  • April 2018

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  • Zimbabweland (Ian Scoones)

Explores the reconfiguration of rural authority in the aftermath of Zimbabwe’s Fast Track Land Reform Programme, particularly the way chiefs were able to deploy ancestral autochthony as a way of contesting state hegemony. Argues that chiefs cannot simply be viewed as undemocratic remnants of colonial rule; instead, a nuanced understanding of their role in rural governance is required.

  • April 2018

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  • Tom Lavers, University of Manchester (African Affairs)

Argues that the institutionalization of ethnic federalism and the persistence of neo-customary tenure result in considerable ambiguity, particularly regarding the land rights of non-indigenous minorities. Highlights tensions between these three sets of land tenure institutions – state ownership, ethnic federalism and neo-customary tenure – and their implications for minority land rights. A case study of land-based conflict in Oromiya region, based on fieldwork conducted in 2009-10, demonstrates the continuing relevance of these land tenure institutions and associated ideas in land debates in Ethiopia, both in terms of the use of these ideas by protagonists as means of justifying land claims, and the ambiguous state response to the conflict, which goes well beyond the provisions of the land policy. Many of the key issues regarding ethnicity and land mirror debates taking place across the continent.

  • April 2018

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  • Water Integrity Network

Examines the link between land and water grabbing, the people that are most impacted by this, and legal frameworks related to both land and water rights. Describes the impacts of land and water grabbing in Kenya and Ethiopia. Examines integrity risks in the Ethiopian government’s leasing of land and water resources to foreign investors, and the land reform process in Kenya after the launch of the 2010 Kenyan Constitution. This summary document identifies how powerful actors are taking control of land and water resources at the expense of poorer, local communities. Corruption in land governance plays a huge role in land grabbing, and integrity risks manifest through bribes, flawed decision-making processes, circumventing official procedures, and institutional fragmentation.

  • March 2018

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  • Helen Dancer (Fem Leg Stud 2018, 26:47–64)

What can an analysis of power in local communities contribute to debates on women’s legal empowerment and the role of paralegals in Africa? Drawing upon theories of power and rights, and research on legal empowerment in African plural legal systems, this article explores the challenges for paralegals in facilitating women’s access to justice in Tanzania, which gave statutory recognition to paralegals in the Legal Aid Act 2017. Land conflicts represent the single-biggest source of local legal disputes in Tanzania and are often embedded in gendered land tenure relations. Argues that paralegals can be effective actors in women’s legal empowerment where they are able to work as leaders, negotiating power relations and resisting the forms of violence that women encounter as obstacles to justice. Paralegals’ authority will be realised when their role is situated within community leadership structures, confirming their authority while preserving their independence.

  • March 2018

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  • Feinstein International Center Tufts University (Saverio Kratli, Pabame Sougnabe, Francesco Staro & Helen Young)

Study contributes to the understanding of the dynamics of pastoralism and farming in Dar Sila in relation to its natural, social, and economic environment. Reviews the history of the development of pastoralism in Chad, looks closely at pastoral systems in eastern Chad, reviews the policy and institutional context for pastoralism in Chad, and offers recommendations for practitioners working with pastoralist communities in Dar Sila and nationally in Chad.

  • March 2018

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  • Transparency International

Despite increasing attention in recent years, little evidence has been available on the issue of women, land and corruption in Africa to inform effective policy-making. There has been no compilation of relevant background information, lessons learnt and approaches to tackling land corruption as it affects women. This publication aims to address that gap, providing practitioners and decision-makers with a compendium of research findings, contextual information and practical solutions to help fulfil women’s land rights. It presents specifically gendered evidence on how women are affected by land corruption differently from men, followed by responses tailored to women’s needs to address gender-based inequalities over land. Covers Cameroon, Ghana, Kenya, Liberia, Madagascar, Sierra Leone, Uganda and Zimbabwe.

  • March 2018

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  • RRI brief

Brief highlights key attributes of national constitutions, laws, and regulations that play a fundamental role in protecting indigenous and rural women’s rights to community forests and other community lands. These legislative best practices were derived from a 2017 analysis of over 400 national laws and regulations, Power and Potential, which evaluates the extent to which women’s rights to community forests are recognized by national law in 30 low- and middle-income countries across Africa, Asia, and Latin America.

  • March 2018

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  • LEGEND Brief (Karol Boudreaux, Darryl Vhugen & Nicole Walter)

Over the past decade, a spike in demand for agricultural land in developing countries has generated a great deal of political and media attention. While many investments bring opportunities for communities, some have wrongfully pushed residents and workers off their lands or have caused social and environmental harm. Some development projects, including agroforestry initiatives and irrigation schemes, have also become embroiled in land conflict. Left unaddressed, escalating land disputes can result in project delays, increased operational, labour and legal costs, supply chain issues, damage to property, security concerns, and reputational harm. This briefing note aims to provide practical guidance on identifying and addressing community land conflicts to prevent them escalating into disputes between the project and local communities.

  • March 2018

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  • World Resources Institute

Women disproportionately bear the negative impacts of large-scale land investments (in agribusiness, extractives, logging) in the global South. Lack of formal land rights and their subordinate role in the household and community lead to their marginalization in decision-making processes and the bypassing of them in the distribution of compensation and the planning and implementation of resettlement.  In Tanzania and Mozambique, laws require community consultations and the payment of compensation to affected local communities, but they fail to adequately account for women’s concerns and perspectives. There are many gaps in the legal frameworks. Women are underrepresented in decision-making bodies, and laws lack mechanisms to ensure meaningful participation in community consultation and consent processes.

  • March 2018

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  • Transparency International

Covers guidance on land corruption, impact of land corruption on gender dynamics, mapping land corruption risks, corruption and urban land management, interaction of corruption, legal frameworks and land reform, land corruption in relation to investors, selected indicators of land corruption.

  • March 2018

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  • SIDA Brief

Gives an overview on how to consider gender aspects in projects and programmes addressing land rights. Covers land policy, land legislation, implementation of land laws, enforcement, land administration, example of indicators.

  • March 2018

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  • Kenya Land Alliance

Kenya Land Alliance (KLA) disaggregated and analysed 1,000,099 out of about 3,200,000 title deeds issued by the Government of Kenya from 2013-17. The booklet reveals that women only got 103,043 titles representing 10.3%, while men got 865,095 titles representing 86.5% of the total. The data sampled shows that out of 10,129,704 hectares of land titled between 2013-17 women got 163,253 hectares representing a paltry 1.62%, while men got 9,903,304 hectares representing 97.76%.  This booklet is launched as a warning against complacency on the importance of gender equality in land title issuance.

  • February 2018

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  • Womankind

Includes methodology and research sites; land, the law and women’s rights in Uganda; women’s rights – lost in the land rush; economic policy and land as a commodity; women’s rights activists – promoting women’s land rights; recommendations. Uganda’s eco-feminist movement is one of several working at the interface of environmental degradation, corporate human rights abuses and patriarchy, urgently building women’s campaigning and resistance skills.

  • February 2018

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  • International Justice and Human Rights Clinic, Peter A. Allard School of Law, University of British Columbia

Seeks to guide investigative bodies, judges, and prosecutors engaged with the factual and legal dimensions of land grabbing, as well as advocates, political institutions and companies working to curb this phenomenon. By prosecuting even a few of the most serious instances of the crimes arising from land acquisitions, the ICC can send a strong message to corporations and governments, deterring future violation and beginning to bring justice to victims of illegitimate land seizures. Ongoing impunity should no longer be tolerated for crimes against humanity arising in connection with land grabbing.

  • February 2018

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  • Innovations for Successful Societies

Contains the common goal, delivery challenges, five stories and takeaways, larger lessons.

  • February 2018

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  • Innovations for Successful Societies

Contains the common goal, delivery challenges, six stories and takeaways, frontiers for further investigation and innovation.

  • February 2018

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  • International Land Coalition Rangelands Initiative

Includes rangelands degradation, drylands, pastoralists, pastoralism, land tenure and governance in rangelands, land use planning, international initiatives aimed at protecting rangelands, drylands, pastoralism and pastoralists. Selected indicators.

  • January 2018

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  • Zimbabweland (Ian Scoones)

Drawing on 18 years of research, offers these 10 priorities for getting agriculture moving again: land tenure, finance, partnerships, government loans, access to marketing, value addition, smart support systems, irrigation, mechanisation, local economic development.

  • January 2018

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  • Zimbabweland (Ian Scoones)

One of the new government’s major policy priorities has to be to get agriculture moving as a motor of growth. The long-running issue of outstanding compensation payments has meant that international donors and financiers have not engaged with land reform areas, missing out on supporting major development opportunities. People on the resettlement farms are producing significant quantities of food and other agricultural products. Recent figures make it clear how vital they are to Zimbabwe’s struggling economy. So quick resolution of the compensation issue is essential.

  • January 2018

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  • Zimbabweland (Ian Scoones)

Zimbabwe today has an agrarian structure made up of small, medium and large farms, all under different forms of land ownership. A landscape once dominated by 4,500 large-scale commercial farmers is now populated by about 145,000 smallholder households, occupying 4.1 million hectares, and around 23,000 medium-scale farmers on 3.5 million hectares. Knowing exactly who has land and where is difficult. Illegal multiple allocations combine with unclear boundary demarcations and an incomplete recording system. Many new land owners don’t have formal documentation and lack leases or permits confirming ownership. There is a great deal of uncertainty given the often haphazard, sometimes corrupt, approach to land reallocation that took place under the land reform programme. Given that the landscape is very different to what went before, a new system of land administration is urgently needed.

  • January 2018

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  • Emmanuel Sulle, DIIS (Danish Institute for International Studies) Working Paper 10

Analyses the configuration of land rights among different users of land and discusses the implementation of Tanzania’s land policy reform. The key rights explored include those of small-scale producers (farmers and pastoralists) and large-scale investors. Explores how the state defines, allocates, protects and compensates for land when it appropriates such rights. Looks at the formal, informal and procedural rights that provide for and protect the rights of small-scale producers and investors, and the compensation offered to those who give up their land for investment. Also discusses how these rights are configured during the investment negotiation and implementation phases of land deals. Argues that while the proposed draft National Land Policy of 2016 tries to address the core problems related to the poor implementation of the 1995 Land Policy, the current draft also has significant shortcomings and is only likely to be successful if the process becomes more inclusive, prioritizes small-scale local producers, and addresses issues of inequality and ethnic and class-based struggles over land.

  • December 2017

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  • IRIN e-book (IRIN is a news agency specialised in reporting humanitarian crises)

Over the last two decades, 200 million people across the world have been lifted out of hunger. But as climate change brings more frequent and severe weather shocks such as droughts and floods, and makes rainfall patterns less predictable, these gains are under threat, especially among Africa’s smallholder farmers. Agriculture is Africa’s biggest employer. But mean temperatures are expected to rise faster in the continent than the global average, decreasing crop yields and deepening poverty. IRIN has now completed a project to outline the challenges that global warming is triggering, and to explore what local communities are doing to adapt and reduce their vulnerability. This e-book covers 4 countries – Kenya, Nigeria, Senegal, and Zimbabwe – with the goal of sharing lessons learned so that small-scale farmers everywhere can be better supported as their challenges multiply. It provides a platform for policy discussion, and for the voices of those men and women on the front lines of climate change to be heard. It contains field reporting on: climate-related problems and threats such as desertification in Nigeria, soil salination in Senegal, and the lack of technical support available to smallholder farmers in Zimbabwe; the range of responses and solutions adopted by farmers and governments; and how livestock-raising communities in the Kenyan county of Turkana are facing up to one of the worst droughts in living memory.

  • December 2017

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  • IDEF, Eburnie Today, JVE Côte d’Ivoire, GRAIN

Conflict began in August 2011 when 3 village communities in eastern-central Côte d’Ivoire learned that the Belgian corporation SIAT was about to move onto their land. Report details the increasing conflicts and legal battles that followed.

Rubber is now replacing food production. SIAT has ignored the country’s legal framework.

  • December 2017

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  • Lorenzo Cotula and Thierry Berger (IIED Research Report)

From the mid-2000s, a commodity boom underpinned a wave of land use investments in low- and middle-income countries. While agribusiness, mining and petroleum concessions often involve promises of jobs and public revenues, they have also prompted concerns about land dispossession, exclusionary investment models and infringements of the rights of vulnerable groups. One of the major challenges is in empowering rural people to make informed choices, exercise their rights and have their voices heard. A solid understanding of evolving investment trends is essential for designing effective initiatives. This report discusses evolving patterns in land use investments, developments in investment frameworks, and implications for legal empowerment approaches.

  • November 2017

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  • GLTN and UN Habitat

Publication features the key provisions on land governance in recent relevant international frameworks. Presents where new issues or themes appeared, issues that have gained additional support and those that have received less attention. Also highlights the particularities, strengths and potential gaps of the individual frameworks, as well as their similarities, complementarities and differences. Emphasizes the critical role of land governance in the realization of human rights, enjoyment of secure land rights and in the overall achievement of sustainable development objectives.

  • November 2017

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  • The Conversation (Robert Wayumba)

A Kenyan air pilot involved in a project testing the use of drones for land mapping and registration in Kenya, Rwanda and Ethiopia. If successful, hopes it will be rolled out elsewhere on the continent. Still awaiting permission to fly the drones. Kenya has developed guidelines on drones. Hoped to increase the number of land parcels that are mapped and clarify figures for different types of land ownership – private, public or community.

  • November 2017

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  • AFSA (Alliance for Food Security in Africa)

Identifies the drivers of the land use changes that have displaced millions of rural people and continue to threaten millions more – particularly women; it unpacks the key land policy guidelines and why they have so far failed to ‘stick’ on the ground, and it sets out 14 actions to get to grips with the problem and push forward community land rights across Africa.

  • November 2017

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  • Land Portal (Andrew Chilombo)

Under the 1995 Land Act, all land has been vested in the President, who holds it in perpetuity on behalf of the Zambian people. Yet customary land rights are recognized by the Act and several new initiatives aim at documenting these land rights to ensure tenure security for communities across the country. Provides a detailed overview of land legislation and regulations, land tenure classifications, land use trends, land investment and women’s land rights. Argues that in the wake of an insatiable socio-economic demand for land, Zambia’s land governance is plagued with ungoverned land allocations and corruption. Offers free access to a wide range of datasets, publications, and other land-related content, visualizes data from a variety of land-related indicators, enabling the cross-country comparisons on maps, infographics and tables, and showcases user-friendly infographics.

  • November 2017

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  • PLACE

Some commercial farmers in Serenje District, Central Province of Zambia, have acquired thousands of hectares while ignoring laws meant to prevent forced evictions. Some have used bulldozers to forcibly evict residents whose families have farmed the land for generations. This has been devastating for the communities and particularly hard on women.

  • November 2017

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  • Land Portal (Land Development and Governance Institute – LDGI)

Describes land reforms, recent sectoral developments, land legislation and regulations, land tenure systems and land use trends, as well as land investments, land conflict and historical injustices. Offers free access to a wide range of datasets, publications, and other land-related content, visualizes data from a variety of land-related indicators, enabling the cross-country comparisons on maps, infographics and tables, and showcases user-friendly infographics.

  • November 2017

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  • Land Portal (Association for Rural Advancement – AFRA)

Focuses on South Africa’s various land laws and regulations, tenure classifications, and examines barriers to legal recognition of land rights. Covers land use and distribution trends and information on land investments. Analyses statutory recognition of women’s land rights and whether recent tenure reforms have improved access to and control of land for women. Offers free access to a wide range of datasets, publications, and other land-related content, visualizes data from a variety of land-related indicators, enabling the cross-country comparisons on maps, infographics and tables, and showcases user-friendly infographics.

  • November 2017

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  • Cloudburst Group

Over the past decade, a spike in demand for agricultural land in developing countries has generated much attention. While many investments bring opportunities for local communities, some have pushed residents and workers off their lands or have caused social and environmental harm. Local land conflicts are common in countries where land governance is weak, but can be hard for outsiders to spot. Failure to identify and address conflicts in a timely way can result in disputes escalating into wider conflicts. Investors may be inadvertently complicit in the wrongful displacement of people, which can lead to revocation of operational licenses or undermine the social license to operate.

  • November 2017

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  • FAO

Over the last few years, agribusinesses, investment funds and government agencies have demonstrated a growing interest in acquiring large portions of land particularly in sub-Saharan Africa. Analysing a number of these deals in Africa suggests that objectives are usually not attained and their sustainability appears to be uncertain. Report’s aim is to provide technical guidelines to be used as a tool that may foster an enabling environment for sustainability and provide a basis for win-win investments that effectively contribute to the socio-economic development of the host countries. Argues this is feasible when the arrangements benefit both the investors and the majority of the population in the given area.

  • November 2017

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  • Agri SA

A land audit responding to the facts that policy formulation around the very sensitive and complex issue of land has been based on perception rather than fact for too long and that no reliable figures on land ownership in South Africa exist. Acknowledges that there are still some gaps in the data, but presents statistics that  shed light on ownership patterns of agricultural land in South Africa. Required a multi-pronged approach. The amount of agricultural land has decreased from approximately 79.3% in 1994 to 76.3% in 2016. Land ownership by Previously Disadvantaged Individuals has increased significantly from 14.9% in 1994 to 29.1% in 2016. The setting of government targets on land reform has created expectations but there was no way to measure whether these targets were being achieved as no comprehensive land audit was done. This audit should provide a foundation.

  • October 2017

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  • IRIN

Fresh clashes over land in a cocoa plantation in Cavally Region in the west left 7 dead and 5,000 fleeing their homes. An increasing polarisation of ethnic identity. At least 100 cases of land occupations since 2013.

  • 29 September 2017

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  • Namati (Rachel Knight)

Communities are key drivers for the fulfilment of the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Discusses Namati’s work in supporting communities to protect and document their lands and natural resources, which is driven by each community’s articulated vision of the future. Namati’s approach involves: laying the groundwork, strengthening community governance of land and natural resources, harmonizing boundaries and documenting community lands, government registration and titling, preparing communities to prosper.

  • 12 September 2017

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  • Devex

Traces the history of the Interlaken Group, founded in 2013 as a coalition of corporations, investors, civil society organizations and INGOs with the goal of turning corporations into allies in the process of securing land rights. Gradually building a sense of trust. Opening the door to new kinds of partnerships.

  • September 2017

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  • Robin Palmer (Mokoro)

A 78-page list, much of it pretty grim reading. Divided into reports and press cuttings, in alphabetical order. The reports section comprises a ‘1stXI’ of Future Agricultures Consortium, GRAIN, IIED, IISD, Mokoro, Oakland Institute, Oxfam, Pambazuka News, PLAAS, RRI and TNI, followed by a further 36 from Action Aid to the World Resources Institute. The press cuttings cover Global, Africa, 31 African countries or regions from Angola to Zimbabwe, followed by Middle East, Asia and China. Countries with greatest coverage are Ethiopia, Liberia, Mozambique, Sierra Leone, and Tanzania. The URLs are correct as of today’s date.

  • August 2017

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  • FERN

Highlights the role of European Development Finance Institutions (DFIs) in possible land grabs and questionable forestry projects in Africa. Documents 9 cases involving 8 of the European DFIs in Cameroon, DR Congo, Sao Tome, Sierra Leone, Tanzania and Uganda. Raises the need for more independent research into these projects and for much more scrutiny of DFI investment portfolios, both by DFIs themselves and national parliaments. DFIs need to be placed under proper democratic scrutiny and their investments held to account by parliaments. DFIs must subject their investments to better screening to ensure they do not contribute to land grabs or deforestation.

  • 14 August 2017

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  • Ben Cousins (The Conversation)

Just published a new book, Untitled. Securing land tenure in urban and rural South Africa which disputes the argument that large-scale land titling is the solution to all land problems. Need for alternative approaches. Book offers an analysis of social tenures. Rights are often shared and overlapping and derive from accepted membership of a community or kinship group. Could provide a degree of official and legal recognition of rights within social tenures. Alternatives pose their own challenges but not an impossible task.

  • August 2017

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  • Review of African Political Economy

ROAPE’s Janet Bujra questions Marjorie Mbilinyi about her fifty years of campaigning against patriarchal oppression on many fronts in Tanzania. Mbilinyi traces the legitimisation of feminism as a means to understand and a way to organise for and with women. This is not a feminism lifted from Europe or the US, but one generated in response to Tanzanian and African realities. As a teacher, analyst and organiser, Marjorie Mbilinyi has inspired a generation to question patriarchy and to set up groups to study and fight against it collectively, and to do so in tandem with struggles against class oppression, neoliberalism and imperialism. She identifies and describes resistance not only from men in power but also from those who position themselves on the radical Left. Grateful to ROAPE for permission to reproduce this article on this website.

  • August 2017

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  • Francesca Di Matteo, EHESS, Marseille (LSE International Development Working Paper 185)

Independent Kenya failed to recognize customary interests in land as possessing equal force as statutory derived rights. Issues related to land rights are perceived as  root causes of conflicts occurring in the 1990s and 2000s. The 2010 Constitution has embodied the fundaments of land reforms; it has acknowledged “communities” as legally entitled to hold land. Paper studies decision-making processes via a socio-anthropological approach showing how it contributes to understanding the issues at stake and the politics surrounding the design of new legislation around “community land”. Documents the manner in which local actors participate in, interpret, divert, or exploit policy debates ongoing at the national level.

  • June 2017

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  • Liz Alden Wily (The Conversation)

The African Court on Human and Peoples’ Rights has issued a landmark judgement for marginalised communities across Africa. It ruled that the Kenyan government violated the rights of the Mau Ogiek people by evicting them from their ancestral land in the Mau Forest complex. This is the first time the court has ruled on an indigenous peoples’ rights case or in a case with mass human rights violations indicated. All indigenous forest peoples in Kenya (c.135,000) will find it easier to advance their own claims for recognition as owners of presently classified “government” forests. The case has also given indigenous peoples throughout Africa resounding legal recognition that they exist and are due the support of international law.