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Community / Land projects / Harnessing IDRC-Supported Research on Large-Scale Land Acquisitions and Accountability in Africa

Harnessing IDRC-Supported Research on Large-Scale Land Acquisitions and Accountability in Africa


09/15 - 03/16


This project is part of


Commercial interest and investments in Africa's agricultural lands have intensified in quantity, speed, and size over the past five years, particularly in the wake of the 2008 food crisis. This project will address concerns over the phenomenon. It aims to enhance leadership skills that will help build more equitable policies and practices for communities around large-scale land investments in Africa. Large-scale land acquisitions Foreign and domestic investors, both public and private, are acquiring control of vast stretches of fertile land for agricultural production in developing countries. While agricultural investments can contribute to economic development and reduce poverty, many investments have failed to live up to expectations and are not generating sustainable benefits. In many instances, these land deals are leaving local people worse off than they would have been without the investment. Pressures on agricultural land are expected to continue to meet the needs of growing populations. There is also the issue of diminishing supplies of fertile land caused by pressures on water sources, encroaching urbanization, and changing weather patterns related to climate change. Investments to date have served to highlight existing weaknesses in the management and governance of agricultural lands and on local communities' ability to secure land rights. More accountable, equitable investments This project will advance IDRC's work on this issue in sub-Saharan Africa to make land investment processes more accountable and equitable, and to prevent displacement and conflict. It will build on five action research projects covering 10 countries. Project teams will work with communities to increase their power to negotiate equitable terms and protect their rights and interests. It will fund the following activities: -Land Research Summit in Dakar, Senegal, to share initial research results and lessons learned, as well as foster policy discussions -Blogs and op-eds to raise awareness about research findings -Conference participation to share the research and findings

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