Land Rights Reform and Governance in Africa. How to make it work in the 21st Century?

October 2006
Liz Alden Wily (UNDP Discussion Paper)

Divided into 7 sections: introduction – tenure insecurity, poverty and power relations; the subordination of customary land rights; attempts to make amends; an end of century turn-around – towards the liberation of customary land rights; launching reform through new policy and law; the need to assure success; how to make land reform work? Argues that dramatic improvement in the legal status of customary land interests is globally on the horizon. There is need for a more action based and community driven evolutionary process to bring threatened commons to the centre of reform and facilitate the protection of collective rights in Africa, where 90 per cent of the rural population access land through indigenous customary mechanisms.