The context of land and resource rights struggles in Africa

August 2004
Munyaradzi Saruchera (Programme for Land and Agrarian Studies (PLAAS Policy Brief 9)

Africa’s poor are heavily dependent on land and natural resources for livelihood, but some governments continue to resist transferring full resource management rights to them. This risks the loss or degradation of these resources, or their transfer into private hands. The continent’s development challenges are compounded by many factors, including unequal social, economic and political relations, the legacy of colonialism, globalisation, and collusive neo-liberal policy which favours capital and powerful allies. In addition, the voice of Africans in the debates which shape important processes at global, continental and national levels are seldom heard. The Pan-Africa Programme on Land and Resource Rights (PAPLRR) is a civil society initiative which sets out to address these issues.