Legal Empowerment in Practice. Using Legal Tools to Secure Land Rights in Africa | Land Portal

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Date of publication: 
Enero 1970
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Land lies at the heart of social, political and economic life in much of rural
Africa. It provides a major source of livelihoods, income and employment; a
basis for social and political relations; and has major historical, cultural and
spiritual significance. In many places, rapid socio-economic changes are
undermining the security of land access for poorer and more vulnerable
groups – particularly in high-value lands such as peri-urban areas, irrigated
schemes and fertile lands. Securing land access for these groups is
important in providing economic opportunities and/or social safety nets, as
well as addressing broader issues of governance, equity, environmental
sustainability and social identity. Recent years have witnessed growing interest and debates about legal empowerment as a strategy for securing land rights in Africa. Legal empowerment has featured high on the international development agenda – as evidenced by the establishment of a UN-hosted Commission on Legal Empowerment of the Poor.
IIED, FAO and the Law Faculty of the University of Ghana jointly organised an international workshop to
allow practitioners to exchange their experience and share the lessons
learned, and to feed insights from the wealth of innovation on the ground
into international processes. The workshop took place in Accra on the 13th
and 14th of March 2008, bringing together some 25 practitioners from
different parts of Africa, as well as a few practitioners and researchers from
international institutions and Europe. Workshop participants shared a broad range of approaches, tools and methods for legal empowerment.

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