AfDB, AUC and ECA commit to work together to strengthen Africa’s complex land governance systems

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The land issues in Africa are myriad, complicated and even deadly. Even though the countries of the continent have laws, systems and structures of land tenure, issues of land ownership, sale, development and management are thorny. Land governance is to a large extent at the heart of land tenure, poverty, food security and the severe housing crisis in Africa.

To address land issues, the African Development Bank (AfDB), the African Union Commission (AUC) and the Economic Commission for Africa (ECA) have jointly committed to work with the governments of the continent. to strengthen land governance.

A press release copied to Ghana Business News noted that in a joint statement at the end of the 2021 Africa Land Policy Conference, organizations pledged financial and technical assistance “to ensure that land governance processes and land policy in Africa are transparent and lucid. and accessible and that state and indigenous systems are easily integrated.

They also pledged to work with practitioners of arts, culture and heritage to increase awareness and appreciation of land issues on the continent.

They pledged to work more closely with governments to strengthen land governance systems.

“At a time when the world is also engaged in the COP26 process, we wish to highlight the fact that large parts of our continent are desert or semi-arid and face ecological damage. Yet, more than often, the unequal distribution of land has relegated a growing population of small farmers, women and youth to marginal areas, resulting in increased pressure on the degradation of land and land resources, ”the statement said, read by Leontine Kanziemo, advisor. , Management of natural resources at the AfDB.

The declaration called for greater equity in land tenure in order to expand access to natural resources. He also said it was crucial to work with governments, artists and cultural leaders to ensure that women and young people have access to land. “The majority of our people depend on the land for a living. Therefore, pro-poor land policy must be transparent to all land users, equitable and free from corruption, ”the partners said.

The statement called for including the traditional custodians of African art, heritage and culture in all pro-poor land policies. “In addition, following the recent United Nations Food System Summit, governance of tenure should be viewed critically as an influential catalyst in the transformation of African food systems. “

King Mfumu Difima Ntinu, President of the African Traditional Authority, stressed that effective land governance requires political will and urged African countries to pay more attention to the role of women in land issues. “With your help, we will get there,” he added.

In his remarks, Rexford Ahene, chair of the conference’s scientific committee, underscored the link between land and the creative industries, saying the economic potential of land and the benefits of the creative industries should not be underestimated.

According to the World Trade and Tourism Council, the creative industries will add $ 269 billion to Africa’s GDP by 2026 and more than 29 million jobs with skills appealing to young people. “It’s important to take this into account,” Ahene explained.

He called on governments and development partners to invest resources in building the capacity of the creative sector and preserving intellectual property and rights to “safeguard and protect the creativity and innovation that this sector offers”.

The conference organized under the theme: “Land governance for the safeguard of art, culture and heritage towards the Africa we want”, was organized by the Rwandan government in a hybrid format, with participants meeting physically in Kigali and online.

Organizers also incorporated arts and culture into the conference, anchoring the power of the creative sector in land issues.

By Emmanuel K. Dogbevi
Copyright © 2021 by NewsBridge Africa
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