Addis Ababa, 9 April 2014 – The Land Policy Initiative (LPI) supported the organization of a Civil Society (CSO) Meeting on the establishment of a platform that would ensure continued and organized stakeholder engagement in support of the implementation of the African Union Declaration on land. The meeting was held in Dakar, Senegal, on 18 and 19 March 2014.
The meeting was opened by the intervention of Mr. Waly Diouf, Technical Advisor at the Senegal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development. Participants in the meeting agreed that the CSO Platform on land policy in Africa be organized around working groups and themes such as women’s land rights, land tenure security and customary tenure, land governance for natural resource management, large scale land based investments (LSLBIs), transparency and accountability, and monitoring and evaluation.
Participants at the meeting discussed and agreed upon the Concept Note establishing the Platform. The principles guiding the Platform are inclusiveness, strong linkages to the field, flexibility, and adaptability. The Platform is designed as an evolving tool that answers the specific needs of African countries. It is also envisaged that the Platform will ensure accountability and transparency, and the solidarity of purpose, building on CSOs’ respective strengths.
More precisely, the Platform will facilitate inputs and collaboration from a wide range of CSOs, and the sharing of experiences and knowledge. The Platform is also meant to strengthen the voice of the marginalized, and as such to advocate that the women’s land issues be accommodated in the decision making processes. Moreover, the Platform can provide legal assistance in land-related matters, and help monitor the progress made by members in implementing the AU Declaration on land. The meeting also concluded that the Platform will have a leadership shared among organizing entities, and other six organizations identified as key actors in the thematic areas.
The LPI contributed to the meeting through a presentation of its five-year strategic plan. It also presented the draft Guiding Principles on large scale land based investments, document on which CSO representatives provided comments.
Participants at the meeting expressed their high appreciation for LPI’s commitment and openness to ensure a meaningful engagement with African CSOs, on the issue of land and agrarian reform in Africa.
Over 50 participants from 20 countries attended the meeting, representing national land coalitions, women’s organizations, development and rights non-governmental organizations, and community-based organizations.
The Land Policy Initiative is a joint programme of the tripartite consortium consisting of the African Union Commission (AUC), the African Development Bank (AfDB), and United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (ECA). Its mandate is to facilitate the implementation of the AU Declaration on Land Issues and Challenges in Africa.