Report of a Conference at the University of Manchester. Summarises papers by Phil Woodhouse on ‘African Enclosures – the Default Mode of Development’ and Camilla Toulmin on ‘Identifying a Research Agenda for the Reform of Land Tenure’ and the discussions on them. Argued that we cannot assume that poverty reduction or equity will emerge from vesting power over land with local communities and their leaders. Conflicts over resources will be exacerbated by decentralisation. Conflicts between indigenous and outsider communities are now widespread. Land access conditions have tightened for people in West Africa. Individualisation and commercialisation are increasing, posing problems for social differentiation and policies based on equity. These are downplayed in populist writing on African land tenure systems and in sustainable livelihoods thinking.
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Mokoro is pleased to host the ’Land Rights in Africa’ site as a contribution to the land rights dialogue and related debates. This website was created in January 2000 by Robin Palmer, and was originally housed by Oxfam GB, where Robin worked as a Land Rights Adviser. A library of resources on land rights in Africa – with a particular focus on women’s land rights and on the impact of land grabbing in Africa – the portal has been well received by practitioners, researchers and policy makers, and has grown considerably over the years.