Mainstreaming Land Governance in the Comprehensive Africa Agricultural Development Programme

March 17, 2019
Challenge Challenges related to land governance continue to impede the attainment of the SDGs, especially those related to poverty and hunger (SDG 1, 2), gender equality and inclusive growth (SDG 5, 8), sustainable cities (SDG 11), and peace and security (SDG 16). The same challenges also hamper the attainment of the African Union (AU) Agenda 2063 goals, which are well aligned with the SDGs. The first Agenda 2063 Ten-Year Implementation Plan calls on the Land Policy Initiative (LPI) (now the African Land Policy Centre (ALPC)) to promote the use of the Framework and Guidelines on Land Policy in Africa to secure land rights. Moreover, the Guiding Principles on Large Scale Land Based Investments in Africa call for improving land investments and ensuring that benefits accrue to smallholder producers. These two instruments were developed under the leadership of the LPI and endorsed at the AU Summit. Towards a Solution The LPI developed a five-year strategy for implementation of the AU Declaration on Land, in accordance with the Framework and Guidelines (F&Gs). A key element of this strategy is mainstreaming land governance in national and regional agendas, including AU’s Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Programme (CAADP) and National Agriculture and Food Security Investment Plans (NAFSIPs). Prior to its work on mainstreaming land governance in CAADP NAFSIPs, ALPC conducted a study in 2012-2013, examining 30 NAFSIPS. Results showed that only a handful of the 30 countries had mainstreamed land governance issues into National Agricultural Investments Plans (NAIPs), although these plans are the main tools guiding implementation of CAADP and broader agricultural strategies at the country level. One key recommendation of the validation workshop, with the participation of Member States and other stakeholders, was that the LPI develop a proposal to mobilize resources and technical support for a multi- country pilot project. IFAD has been a strong financial and technical supporter of the initiative from the outset. As a member of the LPI/ALPC Steering Committee, it is currently supporting ALPC with a grant for the project, ”Mainstreaming Land Policy and Governance in the CAADP”, expected to be closed in June 2018. The goal of the project is to support the development and implementation of land policies in Africa in accordance with the AU Declaration on Land and the Framework and Guidelines on Land Policy in Africa, with a view to enhancing food security and agricultural development. The goal is to mainstream land policy and governance in the NAFSIPs to increase agricultural investments and productivity, as well as to attain food security. The specific objectives of the project are to: (i) contribute to raising public awareness on the F&Gs and the Voluntary Guidelines on the Responsible Governance of Tenure of Land, Fisheries and Forests in the Context of National Food Security (VGGTs), particularly among smallholders and the vulnerable groups; (ii) ensure that institutions and civil society organizations (CSOs) and other key partners can use the F&Gs and VGGTs to engage in policy dialogue platforms to improve the land tenure situation of smallholders and vulnerable groups; and, (iii) support and facilitate the implementation of land tenure assessment and action plans at the country level, which include concrete measures based on the F&Gs and the VGGTs. The mainstreaming approach has been developed and tested in six pilot countries: Congo, Côte d’Ivoire, Madagascar, Malawi, Rwanda and the United Republic of Tanzania. The grant allowed for significant progress in the mainstreaming of land policy and governance issues in agricultural strategies and investment plans of the six countries. The participatory approach and the implementation methodology fostered this progress; task teams comprising representatives from ministries of agriculture and land, academia, farmers’ organizations, faith-based organizations and CSOs championed and led the implementation of the project. The task teams worked with stakeholders to ensure that land governance and policy issues are mainstreamed in national agriculture investment plans. The task teams ensured coordination and collaboration among the various stakeholders in the development of the country’s NAIPs. Some of the notable achievements of the project include:
  • Knowledge generated: Four country assessment reports on mainstreaming land governance in agriculture were prepared for Madagascar, Malawi, Rwanda and Tanzania. The reports document the key land-related challenges in agriculture and identify promising practices and innovations in this regard. Based on the assessment report, the four countries have prepared draft strategies and business plans. During the reporting period, over 465 key decision- makers and stakeholders from the six pilot countries received knowledge products related to land governance and its linkages to agriculture;
  • Awareness and consensus were reached on the need and modalities to mainstream land governance concerns in agricultural strategies and investment plans in the six pilot countries. During the missions in August/September 2017 in all six pilot countries, as well as during the continental and national inception workshops, discussions were held with over 460 people, 32 per cent of whom were women. These stakeholders included ministers, permanent secretaries, parliamentarians and other senior policymakers as well as representatives from CSOs, researchers, farmers’ organizations, faith-based organizations and the media; and
  • Capacity was enhanced for mainstreaming land governance. Training needs were identified in four countries – Madagascar, Malawi, Rwanda and Tanzania –  to facilitate the development and adaptation of training programmes to enhance human resource capacities among practitioners and stakeholders. Three training sessions were held with the participation of 68 key practitioners in the land sector including traditional leaders, legal professionals and investment officers.
The project encouraged drawing from in-country and regional lessons learned on the linkages between land governance and agricultural productivity and on the potential entry points that can facilitate mainstreaming land policy and governance through the NAFSIPs. The experience obtained through the project will support the ALPC in developing a guideline for future engagement at the country level. It will also contribute to documenting and sharing promising practices and innovative approaches addressing Africa-wide land governance challenges. Building on the experience and encouraging results of the pilot phase, ALPC and IFAD seek to replicate the approach of mainstreaming land governance in the agricultural investments plans and expand it to other countries in Africa. Sustainable Development Goal target(s): 1.4, 2.3 Countries/ territories involved: Congo, Côte d’Ivoire, Madagascar, Malawi, Rwanda and Tanzania Supported by: IFAD, Sustainable Production, Markets and Institutions Division (PMI) Implementing entities: African Land Policy Centre (ALPC) Project status: Closed Project period: 2015-2018 URL of the practice: Contact: Name: Mr. Harold Liversage, Lead Land Technical Advisor, IFAD Email: Name: Ms. Elisa Mandelli, Associate Programme Officer, IFAD Email: