Land Tenure Insecurity and Urbanization in Benin – NELGA Land Register Francophone West Africa

In Benin, the issue of land tenure insecurity and the instability of land rights in urban, peri-urban, and rural areas draws its source from the increasing pressure exercised by different categories of land stakeholders in their search for space for the development of their economic, social and cultural activities.

Consequently, the exercise of land rights remains low and does not stimulate appropriate enthusiasm by land stakeholders to turn land into productive investments for sustainable development and economic growth. Added to this situation is the virtual control exercised by families and communities on the agricultural land considered (rightly or wrongly) as goods inherited from their ancestors and, therefore, belonging to them. Often this preeminence of customary rights ancestral constitutes a brake on the implementation of agricultural development policies. While traditional rights include a variant of the rural land issue not negligible, it remains that the lack of supervision and better regulations annihilate the efforts made by the public authorities in reviving the agricultural sector.

This report from NELGA Francophone West Africa node, provides a case study for Benin republic with provisions for land reforms for land tenure security.

Click here to view the report.

Le Forum Foncier Africain – L’inscription est ouverte

Le Forum africain est un événement continental organisé chaque année par la Coalition de l’ILC en Afrique et ses partenaires pour réfléchir et recommander des solutions aux questions et défis brûlants de la gouvernance foncière sur le continent. Il offre une plateforme aux décideurs politiques, aux représentants des communautés, aux praticiens du développement et aux partenaires pour concevoir de nouvelles façons de mettre la gouvernance foncière au service des populations. L’ILC s’appuie sur la richesse et la diversité de ses membres et de ses partenaires pour mobiliser les parties prenantes afin qu’elles rejoignent le Forum foncier.

Le Forum foncier 2020 est organisé en partenariat avec le secrétariat de gouvernance foncière de l’IGAD et le Département de l’Économie Rurale et de l’Agriculture (DREA) de la Commission de l’Union africaine. Cet événement, qui se déroule à un moment où tous les secteurs sont ébranlés par la pandémie du Coronavirus (COVID-19), offre une occasion en or de réfléchir et de mettre en évidence le rôle pertinent de la gouvernance foncière dans le renforcement de la résilience et la protection des africains contre les effets négatifs de pandémies similaires à l’avenir. C’est également l’occasion de repousser les frontières de la réflexion sur le rôle de la gouvernance foncière.

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Registration is now OPEN: Africa Land Forum 2020

The Africa Land Forum is a continental event organised annually by the International Land Coalition (ILC) Africa and its partners to reflect on, and recommend solutions to, burning land governance issues and challenges in the continent. It provides a platform for policymakers, community representatives, development practitioners and partners to devise novel ways of making land governance people-centred. ILC draws from its rich and diverse membership and partners to mobilise integrated stakeholders to join the Land Forum.

The 2020 Land Forum is organised in partnership with IGAD’s Land Governance Unit, and the Department of Rural Economy and Agriculture (DREA) of the African Union Commission. This event, taking place at a time when every sector is shaken by the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, offers a golden opportunity to reflect and highlight the pertinent role of land governance in building resilience and protecting Africans from the negative impact of similar pandemics in the future. It also offers an occasion to push the frontiers of thought around the role of land governance in fostering socio-economic development and enabling the attainment of the 2063 aspirations.

Click here for more information and registration.

The University of Dschang, Cameroon, Express Interest to Join NELGA

The University of Dschang in Cameroon, through its Vice-Rector, Prof. Nyoja Jean has expressed the University’s willingness in future collaborations with the Network of Excellence on Land Governance in Africa (NELGA), especially on research projects as related to IDP’s security and land rights in western Cameroon and the collection of land and topographical data.

Prof. Nyoja expressed this during an advocacy meeting on August 17, 2020, with members of the NELGA team, lead by Prof. Leka Amand and Rosette Mbenda, NELGA Regional Advisor for Central Africa, to explore opportunities with the school administrative authorities for future partnership between the institution and NELGA. NELGA intends to expand its current collaborative partners with universities in Cameroon and used the advocacy visit to showcase the impact of NELGA on land governance academic studies and higher institutions in Africa.

The NELGA project in Central Africa, with Prof. Paul Tchawa as Regional Coordinator, officially launched in January 2019 in Yaounde, Cameroon, with the University of Yaounde I serving as the project’s regional node. The University of Yaounde is the only current partner institution in the country. In 2020, it became imperative to expand the reach of land governance academic opportunities and expertise in the country. This necessitated the advocacy visit to the University of Dschang to involve more public higher education and research institutions.

“It was imperative to showcase the impact of NELGA to academic authorities at the University of Dschang and the opportunities that come with NELGA to tackle land issues and land governance for the region and the continent,” explained Rosette Mbenda, NELGA Regional Advisor at the meeting. “The land crisis is a big problem in the continent, hence the adoption of the African Union Framework and Land Policy Directives in Africa validated by different African heads of state as a lever for sustainable development through which NELGA came to fruition.”

During the advocacy visit, the team met with the Secretary-General of the University, , the Dean of FLSH, , Vice-Dean Faculty of Legal and Political Sciences, , Head of The Department of Philo-socio-psychology, Dean of Faculty of agronomic sciences ( FASA)and others.

According to Rosette Mbenda, “We are currently working on the second phase of the NELGA project in Central Africa. We hope that by partnering with the University of Dschang and expanding the number of higher institutions and research organizations in the region, we can increase our voices and footprint to ensure land governance research work supports appropriate data for policy making and good governance.”

Currently, the member countries of the network in Central Africa are in the current state. In addition to Cameroon are Gabon, Central Africa Republic, Congo, Democratic Republic of Congo, and Chad. Actions are considered to integrate Equatorial Guinea into the sheet holder of NELGA Central Africa.

Registration/De Courte Duree: Politique et Gouvernance Foncière à l’Appui de la Transformation Agricole en Afrique

En 2009, les chefs d’État et de gouvernement africains se sont engagés, dans une déclaration sur la terre, à lancer des processus nationaux d’élaboration et de mise en oeuvre de politiques foncières et à garantir un accès équitable à la terre à tous les utilisateurs, y compris les jeunes et les autres groupes sans terre. Ils ont également décidé d’accorder une attention particulière au renforcement de la sécurité d’occupation des terres pour les femmes africaines. Dans cette perspective, tous les États membres de l’UA ont été invités à “revoir leur secteur foncier en vue d’élaborer des politiques globales qui tiennent compte de leurs besoins particuliers” (Déclaration de l’UA sur la terre).

L’amélioration de l’élaboration, de la mise en oeuvre et du suivi des politiques foncières restera une aspiration, à moins que les capacités humaines pertinentes ne soient développées à diérents niveaux. C’est dans ce contexte que la présente formation en ligne est co-organisée par la Commission économique pour l’Afrique (CEA) par l’intermédiaire du Centre africain de politique foncière (ALPC), de l’Institut Africain de Développement Économique et de Planication (IDEP), du Réseau d’Excellence sur la Gouvernance Foncière (NELGA) et de la Commission de l’Union africaine (CUA).

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In 2009, African heads of State and Government had through a Declaration on land, committed to initiate national land policy development and implementation processes and ensure equitable access to land for all land users including the youth and other landless groups. They also resolved to give special attention to strengthening security of tenure for African women. In this perspective, all AU member states were urged to “review their land sectors with a view to developing comprehensive policies which take into account their peculiar needs” (AU Declaration on land).

The improvement of land policy development, implementation and monitoring will remain an aspiration, unless relevant human capacities are developed at different levels. It is against such a backdrop that the present online training is co-organized by the Economic Commission for Africa (ECA) through African Land Policy Center (ALPC), the African Institute for Economic Development and Planning (IDEP), the Network of Excellence on Land Governance (NELGA) and the African Union Commission (AUC).