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Development Account Projects

Capacity-building in support of land policy reforms in African countries for achieving sustainable development


Land remains one of the most important resources in African economies and livelihoods. It is central to rural development, especially agricultural production, which provides livelihoods to over 60% of Africans; and it is the basis for sustainable urban development, an important component of African development especially since urbanization is expected to see over half of Africa’s population living in urban areas by 2030. Yet failure in land governance and management has hampered the use of land in ways that can benefit the majority of Africans. Instead, land has been the cause of many disputes and conflicts, at times leading to civil war. Improving land governance is a key prerequisite to successful national, regional and global goals, targets and strategies aimed at facilitating Africa’s development. These include national development plans and poverty reduction strategies, NEPAD programs, and the Millenium Development Goals.

This project will support the on-going activities of the AU-ECA-AfDB Land Policy Initiative, which aims to garner the political will of African governments, enhance partnerships among stakeholders, increase donor commitment and support for land policy formulation and implementation. In particular, this project aims to advance the work that has already been started to develop benchmarks and indicators of good practice in land policy formulation and implementation in order to track progress in on-going processes that include the reform of policies, legislation as well as the upgrading of institutions of land administration. African stakeholders involved in land reforms have called for this type of monitoring, deeming it critical to drawing lessons to improve land reforms and facilitate lesson sharing among countries, many of which are at different stages in this regard.

In addition to developing tools and mechanisms for assessing progress on land reform, this project will develop a Virtual African Land Policy Administration Facility (VALPAF), whose components will include a land information database and land experts database to facilitate knowledge management as well as a Community Of Practice (COP) that will allow experts and other stakeholders to share knowledge related to land policy formulation and implementation through networking activities. A final component of the project relates to capacity building in support of land policy formulation and implementation. Stakeholders from African RECs and countries will be trained in the use of VALPAF to equip them adequately with the tools necessary to use it. Training will also be offered at regional level, in partnership with other collaborators of the project, on land policy formulation and implementation. It is envisaged that this will only be a beginning of such activities with regional institutions taking up consequent training with ECA (an other partners’) support.


To enhance the capacity of African countries to formulate and implement sound policies and legislation that facilitate secure land rights, increased agricultural productivity, secure livelihoods, peace and security and overall sustainable development.

Expected Accomplishments:

  • Enhanced capacity of African governments, RECs, and other stakeholders to use appropriate indicators and tools for monitoring and assessing progress made in land policy and administrative reforms to improve processes and outcomes of such reforms in order to achieve development goals and targets.

  • Increased accessibility of land related information and the establishment of a network of actors involved in land policy and land administration in order to inform decision making and support exchange of experiences on best practices to improve the design, implementation and evaluation of land policy and land administration processes.

Implementation Status:

Preliminary activities were initiated by the AU-ECA-AfDB Land Policy Initiative (LPI), in partnership with UN-Habitat and the World Bank in order to prepare the implementation of this project. This includes the preparation of a reflection document on participatory and country focused land indicators, as promoted by the Pan African Framework and Guidelines. A draft TOR for the preparation of a background document on land indicators in Africa has been prepared. Actions were taken in order to identify key African experts for monitoring and evaluating land policies.

It can be noted that Land policy formulation processes are being initiated in West, Eastern and Southern Africa. This can be linked to the dissemination of the call by African Heads of State and Government, to undertake such processes as well as to the active role played by LPI network of African experts in all regions.

The LPI attended and strongly influenced the 3rd African Ministerial Conference on Housing and urban development (AMCHUD) which resulted in the decision of AMCHUD to participate in the implementation of the AU Declaration on land and in the use of F&G to inform urban policies at country levels.