ILC Africa Platform Planning Meeting and Regional Assembly- Concept Note

20 22 October 2015, Entebbe – Uganda

Context

The International Land Coalition (ILC) was borne out of a Conference on Hunger and Poverty (1995) as a mechanism for building consensus and mobilising popular will to combat these twin threats. As a global alliance of civil society and intergovernmental organisations, ILC members are working together to promote secure and equitable access to and control over land for poor women and men through advocacy, dialogue, knowledge sharing and capacity building. ILC is based in the IFAD headquarter in Rome and is composed by more than 200 members that comprise: (i) producer’s organisations, social movements and trade unions; (ii) local and national non-governmental organisations (NGOs); (iii) research institutes (which can be national, regional or international), (iv) international NGOs and intergovernmental organisations (IGOs).

Following an external evaluation of the ILC in 2006 and meetings of the ILC General Assembly, Entebbe, Uganda, April 2007, and the Africa Platform, Nairobi, Kenya, October 2007; a decision was made to decentralise ILC, the first step of which was generally described as regionalisation. The primary rationale behind this decision was stated as: “to put a pro-poor land agenda into practice in Africa.” Other rationales included: to increase ILC membership, particularly among NGOs and CSOs at the country level; to increase member engagement in the governance and management of ILC and to increase the generation of funding from non-IFAD sources.

The ILC Africa platform is composed of 53 national and sub-regional organisations from 22 countries and is a structure that contributes to increase the efficiency of the ILC regional and national members’ actions and effectiveness. Member organisations are varied across the Africa region some have a direct focus on land issues such as natural resource and environmental protection or land tenure and land rights, while others have indirect focus such as farmers’ organisations, etc. Most organisations are grassroots organisations with an affiliation to a larger NGO; some are single standing NGOs and; others are coalitions or networks. They all generally operate within a specific country. In addition to the members from the region, ILC also comprises international organizations and inter-governmental bodies, including among others: OXFAM, FAO, World Bank, IFAD, UNEP, ICRAF, IFPRI, CIRAD.

Background

Every two years, ILC organizes an International Forum bringing together its members and other stakeholders to advance understanding of the complex and dynamic political, economic, environmental and social linkages between land governance, food security, poverty and democracy.

The 2015 Global Land Forum took place in May 2015 in Senegal.  The Forum provided an opportunity to promote knowledge-sharing on land issues in the context of democratic processes, advance the land agenda in Senegal and promote action, and to operationalise regional and global land framework such as AU Land Policy Framework and Guidelines and the Voluntary Guidelines for the Responsible Governance of Tenure of Land, Fisheries and Forests (VGGTs). 

The first day of the Global Land Forum was dedicated to the Africa Continent. Africa Day was a special moment dedicated to the deliberation and articulation of land issues, and showcase responsible land governance practices on the continent. It helped the ILC Africa members to better understand the relevance of issues that were discussed during the Forum such as the role of civil society organisations in land investment and the protection of land rights. The variety of land actors involved opened new opportunities for collaboration that will be persued during the regional Assembly in Uganda. Especially with LPI, ECOWAS, LUXDEV, USAID, UNHabitat...and several government representatives from Uganda, Kenya, Cameroun, Malawi, Niger and Madagascar.

ILC Global Assembly was held on the last day of the Dakar GLF. New members were welcomed into the coalition and a new strategic framework adopted. Within this context of a new strategic framework and a membership expansion of around 50% for the ILC Africa platform, it is important for the African members to strategize wisely for the next three years, and to interact with potential and current financial and technical partners.

During the Global land Forum the work of ULA won the ILC international Award with reference to the work done by ULA in Karamoja. Half of the total land area of Karamoja, a sub-region in Uganda, is held by communities on a customary basis. These communal lands are not demarcated or registered and are prone to land grabbing, mostly for tourism or mining. The Uganda Land Alliance (ULA) has empowered communities to assert their land rights by supporting the creation of 52 Communal Land Associations (CLA). Although the 1998 Land Act provides a legal basis for the creation of CLAs, no attempt had ever been made to implement this. Several of the recently established CLAs have been able to reverse land grabs or claim fair compensation for investments in their territories. The CLAs need further formal recognition from the governmental bodies and the opportunity of the ILC regional assembly in Uganda could serve this purpose.

Objectives

The main objective of the Regional Assembly is to strengthen ILC Africa platform by fully understanding, adopting and interpreting with Africa lens the new ILC Strategy 2016-2021.

Specific objectives are:

  1. Engage the new ILC Africa members
  2. Strengthening partnership with LPI
  3. Share results and consolidate a joint multi-year workplan,
  4. Establish a permanent solution for the hosting of the ILC Africa Coordination Unit
  5. Assess the knowledge network within ILC Africa
  6. Promoting Karamoja experience and advancing recognition of the Communal Land Associations in Uganda by governmental institutions
  7. Provide an opportunity for training on Gender Evaluation Criteria and build capacities on gender justice.                                                                                                                                                                                                    Collaboratively develop a multi-year workplan , which makes linkages between secure land access for poor communities and economic transformation in Africa within the context of the new strategic framework. The regional meeting will also provide an opportunity for ILC Africa members and partners to appropriate the Ten Commitments to people-centered land governance, as stated in the Antigua Declaration. The learning event following the regional meeting, aimed at further encouraging members to use the GEC tool, will also enable the members to strengthen their capacity on central issues such as women land rights. It will involve sharing experiences among ILC Members, as well as a field trip to the communities where the GEC was used, with a view to assessing the role played by the participatory process as well as, broadly, the outcomes of the use of GEC in the context of Uganda (cf. ToR on the Gender Evaluation Criteria learning exchange)

Expected outcomes

The 2015 Africa regional assembly will be focus on building on the recommendations and contacts forged during the Dakar Global Land Forum. The following results are, therefore, expected:

  • IlC Africa members are having a common understanding of the platform actions and working together toward the strengthening of the platform within the context of the new strategic framework and by using the 10 commitments to people centred land  governance as pillars to their work 
  • A multi-year WorkPlan is built and agreed upon by the members, taking into account the new strategic framework, the ten commitments and the outcomes from the Global Land Forum
  • A more vibrant membership for the Africa platform which is served by a networking and communication strategy
  • A selection of the membership has an understanding of the GEC tool for use at country level and knowledge of member organisations with relevant experience in the region and beyond

Format:

The Africa Regional Meeting will be held from 20-22 October in Kampala/Entebbe.

During the event a public roundtable will be held with governmental representatives on Communal Land Association (2-3 hours). A field visit is also planned to visit communities in districts close to the venue of the meeting (5 hours).

Two additional days (24-25 October) will be used to provide a training on gender evaluation Criteria to selected participants.

Working languages are English and French, therefore interpretation is provided in both languages.