Tenure and Investment in West Africa: Palm Oil and Improving Practice

Author: Rights and Resources Initiative & TMP Systems

Date: February 9, 2017

Disputes over land and resource rights create operational and reputational risks through delays, rising costs, and curtailed access to finance and markets. This paper looks closely at recent disputes in West Africa and investigates their impact on investment in land-based assets across the sub-region.

A pattern of dispute, financial loss, and reputational damage has pushed some palm oil companies to enhance their standards and practice around tenure and local engagement. In the process, the sector as a whole has become more aware of the risks posed in particular by governments with low capacity on tenure and local engagement, and therefore more discerning about where they invest.

  • Key Findings
  • Related Materials

Key Findings

Leading companies and investors in land are benefiting from following the tenets set out in this document:

  1. Avoid relying on the host government, which can create and entrench local opposition;
  2. Follow the higher standard where domestic and international guidance are not aligned;
  3. Establish an independent dispute and grievance mechanism to reduce risk.

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