Large-scale land acquisitions in Africa
Ensuring a just deal for communities
Africa has seen a wave of large-scale land acquisitions (LSLAs) in recent years. While agricultural investment has been promoted as a strategy for growth and development, when poorly governed, these large land deals risk dispossessing people in rural communities and sparking conflict. Women, low income groups, and those without formal land title are among the most vulnerable.
Since 2012, the International Development Research Centre (IDRC) has been supporting research on LSLAs in sub-Saharan Africa. Researchers are working with communities to increase their ability to protect their rights.
Land deals in Africa: What’s at stake?
Early findings from research on large-scale land acquisitions in Africa point to five key cross-cutting issues:
- Uneven community impacts
- Low levels of public awareness and participation
- The need for fair compensation
- Unclear and insecure tenure rights
- Erosion of women’s rights
This brief highlights five cross-cutting issues that have emerged from ongoing research. These observations and early findings may inform current global debates about how to ensure that large-scale land deals are just and equitable for those affected.