WEBINAR: Land tenure and perceived tenure security in the era of social and economic transformation in Africa

Presenter: Hosaena Ghebru, Research Fellow, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI)
Moderator: Frank Place, Director, CGIAR Research Program on Policies, Institutions, and Markets (PIM)

Access to land and land tenure security are increasingly important for young people in Africa where population pressure has reduced the land frontier. In this webinar, we will discuss findings from a recent set of studies in Ethiopia, Malawi, Mozambique, and Nigeria that examined land access and perceived tenure security across various market, ecological, demographic, and cultural dynamics. A key finding is that, despite positive policy reforms at the national level, implementation has been weak and uneven within countries. As a result, land rights of the most vulnerable groups – poor smallholders, women, and migrants – have often eroded under the pressures of growing population, commercialization of agriculture, and commodification of land. These groups are particularly vulnerable since their rights over land are often subsidiary and undocumented.

The lack of proper enforcement and implementation of the reform process, mainly due to the lack of financial and technical capacity, as well as rent-seeking and corruption, continue to undermine the position of vulnerable groups in sub-Saharan Africa vis-à-vis land. The results of the studies emphasize the need for more pragmatic and endogenous policy reform processes, which account for the local administrative capacities, to ensure the sustainability of programs and interventions. The presentation concludes with a discussion of how the research teams are feeding their findings into ongoing policy discussions.

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