Lusaka, Zambia, January 20, 2020 (ECA) – The Economic Commission for Africa (ECA) Office for Southern Africa will organize a high-level policy dialogue on land policy reform and social-economic transformation in Southern Africa from 23rd to 24th January, 2020 in Gaborone, Botswana.
The policy dialogue will provide a platform for stakeholders to share experiences on land reform and development in Southern Africa through discussions on land access, ownership and utilization, land productivity and markets, policy harmonization, large scale investments in land and identity.
The dialogue outcomes will include experts recommendations towards strengthening the regional and national land policy frameworks to ensure that the ongoing reforms are; harmonized, learn from each other and address all pertinent technical and social issues with respect to ownership of land and its exploitation as a source of livelihood.
Specifically, the Policy Dialogue intends to contribute substantively to the discussion on how the region and its citizens can benefit from the reallocation of land resources through accelerated socio-economic growth and development.
The Policy Dialogue will build on the findings and recommendations of the recent SRO-SA study on Land, identity and socio-economic transformation in Southern Africa and the recommendations of the Ad Hoc Experts Group Meeting on the same organized in Livingstone, Zambia in November 2018.
At the 2018 meeting, the ECA Director for the Sub Regional Office for Southern Africa, Said Adejumobi empasised that access, ownership, control and use of land have identity dimensions- of race, ethnic, gender, youth and communal nature, necessitated reforms in land governance in Southern Africa. He said, “access to land by women remains limited and circumscribed in many countries, also accessing land by young people is also often a challenge while the poor do not easily have access to land”.
The question of access to land by women, youth and other marginalised groups, will be one of the key discussion points during the dialogue and will be treated in a panel discussion.
Other key reflective questions during the policy dialogue will include; what elements of land policies and regulatory frameworks need to be harmonized to create a uniform operating environment in the region? how can land governance systems including the land administration machinery and institutions be made more efficient? what form should a land governance regime that promotes inclusivity, including the participation of all stakeholders – communities and traditional leaders, fair economic opportunities for all citizens and enhanced productivity in the agricultural sector take? how can land reforms satisfactorily accommodate customary and community land governance systems? and how can the land reform processes be aligned with the objectives of structural transformation to unlock the development potential of rural areas through linkages and value chains?
It is expected that the policy dialogue will come up with recommendations on land reform and the modernization of rural agriculture for socio-economic transformation, inclusive growth, poverty alleviation, food security and employment in Southern Africa being cognizant of the issues of identity; and issue a report of the proceedings as a basis for the foundation for robust and sustainable land reforms.
The Policy Dialogue will be attended by; representatives from Government (Ministries responsible for lands and agriculture), parliamentarians, private sector and private sector organizations, academia and research, CSOs, World Bank, International Monetary Fund, African Development Bank, African Union, SADC and COMESA Secretariats, United Nations Agencies (FAO, UNIDO, UNDP), SRO-SA and other ECA Divisions.
The Sub-Regional Office for Southern Africa
UN Economic Commission for Africa (ECA)
P.O. Box 30647, Lusaka, Zambia.
Contact for more information