Tenure and Investment in Africa: Comparative Analysis of Key Trends and Contextual Factors

Author: Rights and Resources Initiative & TMP Systems

Date: February 9, 2017

An empirical picture of the causes and effects of tenure-related disputes between private sector actors and local peoples across different sub-regions and countries in Africa, this analysis details statistical evidence of key trends in tenure-related disputes, including their causes as well as the prevalence of violence, work stoppages, and regulatory interventions.

These key trends are based on an analysis of 32 case studies evenly spread across East, West, and Southern Africa. These “new cases” are compared with a global average derived from the IAN Case Study Database’s 281 cases outside Africa. In addition, we have completed a temporal analysis of some of the key trends to determine how conflicts have changed over the last few decades.

The high-level view provided here is complemented by separate examinations of the three African sub-regions, each of which profiles the case studies in depth and provides a more nuanced view of how tenure-related disputes develop and how they can be resolved.

  • Key Findings
  • Related Materials

Key Findings

The typical tenure-related dispute in Africa occurs:

  • in areas where the population density within a 50 km radius is more than 2 times the global average for projects that trigger conflict.
  • in areas where land cover is open or mixed forest, indicating that projects changing land cover, especially intensive agriculture, are prone to disputes.
  • in areas with endemic poverty, low access to government services, and poor nutrition.
  • an average of 61 km from national borders.
  • in areas with a history of social conflict.

Related Materials