The Framework and Guidelines on Land Policy (F&G) in Africa is the result of a three-year road map of activities that involved intense reflection, rigorous consultations and exemplary collaboration across the continent. These activities involved African continental and regional institutions, governments, prominent African land experts from all regions of the continent, and representatives of land stakeholders and development partners. The activities of the road map were implemented by a tripartite consortium of the African Union Commission (AUC), the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (ECA) and the African Development Bank (AfDB), through a Land Policy Initiative (LPI). The AUC provided overall leadership for the functioning of the Initiative, with ECA and AfDB providing technical support and mobilizing effective partnerships to ensure its success. The ability to secure access to land resources through a variety of tenure systems that guarantee returns for short or long term investments is important for the improvement of agricultural productivity in general and food security in particular.The F&G is a joint product of the partnership and collaborative effort of the African Union Commission (AUC), the UN Economic Commission for Africa (ECA) and the African Development Bank (AfDB) to promote Africa’s socioeconomic development, through inter alia, agricultural transformation and modernisation. Initiated in 2006, the aim of the Land Policy Initiative (LPI) was to examine land policy issues and challenges in Africa with a view to developing a framework to strengthen land rights, enhance productivity and improve livelihoods. It reflects a consensus on land issues; and serves as a basis for commitment of African governments in land policy formulation and implementation and a foundation for popular participation in improved land governance. Its other fundamental purpose is to engage development partners in resource mobilization and capacity building in support of land policy development and implementation in Africa.The F&G is presented in 7 interrelated chapters. Chapter 1 provides the justification for and process followed in developing the F&G. Chapter 2 describes the context which has defined the nature and characteristics of the land question in Africa in order to explain the reason why the land sector has not played its primary role in the development process. That role is examined in Chapter 3. Chapter 4 sets out the key operational processes which African countries will need to follow in order to develop comprehensive policies that would enable the land sector to fully perform that role. Chapter 5 analyses the difficulties likely to be met and conditions necessary for the effective implementation of such policies. Chapter 6 discusses the measures which African countries may wish to put in place to track progress in the development and implementation of those policies. The final chapter is a concluding statement on how member countries of the AU might want to use the F&G.Specifically the F&G seeks to: offer a basis for commitment by African member states to the formulation and implementation of land policies as a basis for sustainable human development including social stability, maintaining economic growth and alleviating poverty and protecting natural resources from degradation and pollution; promote consensus for shared principles as the basis for securing access to land for all users, enhancing agricultural productivity and sustaining livelihoods; underscore the need for popular participation in land policy formulation and implementation so as to facilitate improved governance of land resources; suggest standards for best practices for land policy reforms and benchmarks for the performance of land institutions that member states can adopt in keeping with their respective contexts; articulate a policy framework for addressing emerging issues and anticipating future trends relating to land resources; provide a basis for more coherent partnership between states, citizens and development partners in land policy formulation and implementation on the continent; establish general principles for engaging development partners for capacity building in transformative land policy reform processes; and develop guidelines for regional convergence on the sustainable management and utilization of land and associated resources shared by two or more member states in various parts of Africa.2.7.1 A number of changes in the global environment politics and economy are beginning to exert new and significant impacts on Africa’s land resources. The impact of global warming on climate change is expected to affect land use systems in Africa, although its extent and magnitude is still unfolding. 3.5.2 Forests and associated ecosystems provide many African households with sustenance. In addition they play a significant role in combating systemic global environmental challenges, such as climate change and loss of biodiversity.
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