Regional Assessment Studies on Land Policy in Central, Eastern, North, Southern and West Africa: Synthesis Report | Land Portal | Securing Land Rights Through Open Data

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Date of publication: 
February 2011
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 This Synthesis Report is a synopsis of the outcomes of the regional assessment reports, which were based on studies and subsequent consultations in five regions of Africa. These reports show that some land related issues are common to all regions in the continent while others are region specific. Issues common to the whole continent are those related to: state sovereignty over land; legal pluralism; gender biases in access to land; land tenure security; and land and conflicts. A snapshot of region-specific issues shows that: migration and regional integration challenges are currently more prominent in West Africa; Island States seem to focus more on environmental issues and impacts of climate change on land; Southern Africa gives specific interest to unequal distribution of land; Central Africa focuses on the issue of land and natural resources including forests and on land rights for indigenous people; in Eastern Africa, countries have been scrambling for a long time to attract foreign private investment into sectors like tourism and mining, with effects on the customary based land rights of local communities, including pastoral communities; and in Northern Africa there are specific concerns regarding land fragmentation and water rights.

The regional assessments and consultations also identified some important emerging issues that need to be addressed by land policies in the continent. These are issues such as land markets and foreign direct investments (including the way they relate to biofuels); land and climate change; land, demography and urban development; and the new scramble for African land.

Experiences of land policy formulation and implementation are diverse. Regions and even specific countries within each region are at different stages of this process. While land reforms have been on going for many years in North Africa most other regions (Southern, Western and Eastern Africa) are just going through reforms and are at different stages. In Central Africa, no significant land reform has been undertaken for a very long time.

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African Development Bank (AfDB) Logo

The overarching objective of the African Development Bank (AfDB) Group is to spur sustainable economic development and social progress in its regional member countries (RMCs), thus contributing to poverty reduction.

The Bank Group achieves this objective by:

African Union

On 9.9.1999, the Heads of State and Government of the Organisation of African Unity issued a Declaration (the Sirte Declaration) calling for the establishment of an African Union, with a view, inter alia, to accelerating the process of integration in the continent to enable it play its rightful role in the global economy while addressing multifaceted social, economic and political problems compounded as they are by certain negative aspects of globalisation.

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The African Land Policy Centre, formerly called the Land Policy Initiative (LPI), is a joint programme of the tripartite consortium consisting of the African Union Commission (AUC), the African Development Bank (AfDB) and United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (ECA). Its purpose is to enable the use of  land to lend impetus to the process of African development. The programme is governed by a Steering Committee that meets periodically, while a joint secretariat implements day to day activities. The secretariat is assisted by an African Taskforce on Land. 



Data provider

The African Land Policy Centre, formerly called the Land Policy Initiative (LPI), is a joint programme of the tripartite consortium consisting of the African Union Commission (AUC), the African Development Bank (AfDB) and United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (ECA). Its purpose is to enable the use of  land to lend impetus to the process of African development. The programme is governed by a Steering Committee that meets periodically, while a joint secretariat implements day to day activities. The secretariat is assisted by an African Taskforce on Land. 



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