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Library Improving tenure security for the poor in Africa

Improving tenure security for the poor in Africa

Improving tenure security for the poor in Africa

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Date of publication
November 2006
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Most of the world’s poor work in the “informal economy” – outside of recognized and enforceable rules. Thus, even though most have assets of some kind, they have no way to document their possessions because they lack formal access to legally recognized tools such as deeds, contracts and permits. FAO, with donor funding from Norway, has undertaken a set of activities for “Improving tenure security of the rural poor” in order to meet the needs of FAO member countries and, in turn, support the Commission on Legal Empowerment of the Poor (CLEP) – the first global anti-poverty initiative focusing on the link between exclusion, poverty and law, looking for practical solutions to the challenges of poverty, aiming to make legal protection and economic opportunity the right of all, not the privilege of the few. This paper aims to suggest answers to this penetrating question about land tenure and the poor in Africa: Why, when so much is known and so much seems to be done, does so little change? For this purpose, a framework has been developed that can be used to prioritize and explore the issues within a coherent and recognizable context that provides a practical as well as theoretical perspective.

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