This is the first book on land administration and reform in Sub-Saharan Africa, and is highly relevant to all developing countries around the world. It provides simple practical steps to turn the hugely controversial subject of 'land grabs' into a development opportunity by improving land governance to reduce the risks of dispossessing poor landholders while ensuring mutually beneficial investors' deals. The book shows how Sub Saharan Africa can leverage its abundant and highly valuable natural resources to eradicate poverty by improving land governance through a ten point program to scale up policy reforms and investments at a cost of USD 4.5 billion.
The book points out formidable challenges to implementation including high vulnerability to land grabbing and expropriation with poor compensation as about 90 percent of rural lands in Sub Saharan Africa are undocumented, but also timely opportunities since high commodity prices and investor interest in large scale agriculture have increased land values and returns to investing in land administration.
It argues that success in implementation will require participation of many players including Pan-African organizations, Sub Saharan Africa governments, the private sector, civil society and development partners; but that ultimate success will depend on the political will of Sub Saharan Africa governments to move forward with comprehensive policy reforms and on concerted support by the international development community.
Its rigorous analysis of land governance issues, yet down-to-earth solutions, are a reflection of Byamugisha's more than 20 years of global experience in land reform and administration especially in Asia and Africa. This volume will be of great interest to and relevant for a wide audience interested in African development, global studies in land, and natural resource management.
'This book marks an important milestone for improving land governance in Sub-Saharan Africa. It deserves support from all those involved in and the well-wishers of African development'.
- Jimmy Carter, former U.S. President;
Founder, The Carter Center; and Nobel Peace Prize laureate
'Reform of land administration is one of the most important issues Africa faces in its attempt to free its people from the poverty trap. This volume makes a strong case for African governments and their development partners to invest in securing Africa's land to unlock its productive potential. This initiative deserves support from everyone interested in African development'.
- Monty Jones, 2004 World Food Prize Laureate Executive Director, Forum for Agricultural Research in Africa; Chair, Global Forum on Agricultural Research
'This book is an important and timely contribution on land governance in Africa. It should help move policy makers and the public from debate to real action, which is essential to managing conflict and ensuring that Africa's recent rapid growth becomes broad based and sustainable'.
- Darius Mans, President, Africare
'Improving land governance to unleash its potential and opportunities to address challenges within Sub-Saharan Africa requires appropriate, applicable, and affordable approaches. This book suggests building a scaling-up program with ten elements to step up comprehensive policy reforms and investments in land administration and to accelerate shared and sustained growth for poverty reduction'.
- CheeHai Teo, President, International Federation of Surveyors (FIG)
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