Access to farmland gets quick and dirty in sub-Saharan Africa
This briefing (PDF) by IIED investigates the rapidly changing power dynamics and structures related to land governance in sub-Saharan Africa. The authors argue that understanding the changing dynamics of land access in rural Africa will be crucial if systems of land governance, companies and organisations, and rural development initiatives are to adapt and make a positive impact. Land that used to be allocated within the community by chiefs is now increasingly changing hands in more diverse ways. The wealthy and well-connected within the community or from further afield are frequently able to override local statutory or customary land rights, dispossessing the previous occupants or forcing them to divide their already small plots of land. When government-backed investors obtain large tracts for agribusiness, local farmers who manage to participate in the schemes do well, but those who cannot may find themselves in dire need of support. While the scale and pace of these changes are growing fast, policy responses are lagging. This briefing sets out some suggestions for how to close the gap.
Also see this separate briefing on similar challenges on land access change in Uganda.