Africa’s farmland in changing hands: A review of literature and case studies from sub-Saharan Africa

March 2017
IIED (Catriona Knapman, Laura Silici, Lorenzo Cotula & James Mayers)

In sub-Saharan Africa the pace and scale at which land is changing hands are increasing fast. Summarises findings from a research project – including case studies in Ghana, Senegal, Mozambique, and Uganda – to improve understanding of these changes by addressing 3 main questions: How is land access changing in rural Africa, and what are the major drivers of change? How are these changes affecting rural livelihoods? What are the implications of these changes for development policy and practice? Recommendations focus on the need and means to: reform policy and practice to keep pace with fast moving change; support smallholder farming and off-farm employment; invest in local institutions for smallholder farming to thrive; and monitor changes in land access.