March 2014 – In most of Africa, land is at the heart of economic, social and political life. Therefore, land and natural resource rights and governance issues profoundly affect and are affected by development initiatives across the continent. To fully succeed and contribute to ending extreme poverty in the post-2015 world, development initiatives must recognize and strengthen the land and natural resource rights of local people, especially the rural poor and women. However, while there is growing awareness of these issues, they are often overlooked. Some within the development community consider land rights too politically sensitive to address. Others may lack the knowledge and expertise to strengthen tenure security in the course of development. Focus on Land in Africa (FOLA) is an on-line educational resource designed to help meet these challenges by providing information on land and natural resource rights to non-tenure specialists within the development community. This paper shares successes and challenges in in communicating about complex property rights issues with a non-technical development audience. This Paper was prepared for presentation at the “2014 World Bank Conference on Land and Poverty” in Washington DC, March 24-27. Authored by Bee Wuethrich, Peter Veit and Reem Gaafar.
Authors and Publishers
Landesa partners with governments and local organizations to ensure that the world’s poorest families have secure rights over the land they till. Founded as the Rural Development Institute, Landesa has helped more than 105 million poor families gain legal control over their land since 1967. When families have secure rights to land, they can invest in their land to sustainably increase their harvests and reap the benefits—improved nutrition, health, and education—for generations.
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