Regional Workshop with African Land Commissions on Securing Community Land Rights
Date: 07/17/2017 - 07/19/2017
Location Name: Accra, Ghana
RRI and the African Union’s Land Policy Initiative (LPI) convened representatives from land commissions throughout Africa for a three-day workshop in Accra, Ghana in July. RRI has worked with numerous governments and officials in the region—but never with so many at once. The event was attended by 36 representatives from 14 countries across Sub-Saharan Africa, as well as Dr. Janet Edeme, Head of the Rural Division of the African Union Commission, and Joan Kagwanja of LPI.
The event began with an opportunity to take stock on the various countries and to allow participants to share experiences and perspectives from their respective countries, and included site visits to community lands in Accra. Conference participants’ concluding recommendations were unanimous. More had to be done, they said, to identify, recognize, and protect the rights of Indigenous Peoples and local communities, and more resources devoted to building land management capacity. There was also agreement from all participants that the resolution of conflicts and the decentralization of land management institutions away from urban capitals and toward rural communities represent crucial steps in addressing the disparity between communities’ rights and what governments formally recognize. To carry forward the recommendations, participants developed action plans defining how they could advance community rights upon return to work in their country.