Report on the Ad hoc Expert Group Meeting on Land, Identity and Socioeconomic Transformation in Southern Africa
The land question is perhaps the most important issue of public policy debate in Southern Africa, especially its interface with identity and the issues of access, ownership, control, and usage, and the implications for increased and inclusive production, market expansion, poverty reduction, and economic empowerment of the majority of the citizens in the subregion. Land is an economic, social and cultural resource in many African countries. Accordingly, land is an emotive issue, as access to it not only defines economic opportunities in the agricultural sector, the area of employment for the majority of the population, but it is also associated with social status and cultural and community affinities. Overall, land remains central to economic and social development in the subregion because of the agrarian nature of Southern African economies, making the ownership and use rights to this resource important.