Africa Assembly day 2 and 3: learning from 1 year of implementation

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

On Wednesday and Thursday, 13 and 14 September, ILC Africa regional assembly delegates discussed lessons from 2016/17 activities, voted new steering committee members and adopted decisions on 2017/18 strategy and reports of the 2016 regional assembly and the 2017 regional implementation.

In recent years, high demand for lands has seen many vulnerable communities lose their lands in large scale. Steering committee member (Western Africa), Amadou Kanoute, executive director of the Pan African Institute for research, training, and action for Citizenship, Consumer and Development in Africa (CICODEV) chairing day 2 of the discussions reminded delegates of the urgency to protect community land rights.

Presenting the implementation report of 2016/17 Jamus Joseph, ILC Africa coordinator says, “implementation processes provided a space for national-level stakeholders to develop common strategies and vision.”

 “It gave CSO’s the opportunity to build links and trust for policy engagement, increasing their political legitimacy with governments and promoted their openness to engage in dialogue,” he adds. Jamus also shared the 2016 regional assembly minutes.

Members adopted the reports and suggested amends after the presentation.

NES facilitators discuss challenges and opportunities

Participants discussed successes and challenges of the national engagement strategies (NES) in the first part of the morning of Wednesday 13 September. Ibrahima Ka of IPAR-initiative prospective agricole et rurale( Senegal) shared insights from a study on NES across Africa. “NES is an innovative concept based on a holistic, collaborative, inclusive and participatory approach that facilitates dialogue with varied group of actors,” Ka explains.  NES facilitators outlined a number of challenges they face in implementing the NES. They cited among others lack of visibility and difficulties in collaborating with national administrative units. Ka insists NES must strengthen its credibility, liaise with regional bodies and work to ensure financial independence for sustainability within countries.

Raparison Eric Hermann (NES Madagascar), Chibwana Kate Chimwemwe (NES Malawi), Zebaze Joseph Désiré (NES Cameroon), Frederic Djinajo (NES Togo), Baha Bernard Paul (NES Tanzania) and Augustin Mpoyi (NES DRC) tell members what worked well and less. Andrea Fiorenza, country strategies coordinator, ILC Secretariat and Amadou Kanoute facilitated the session.

ILC Africa steering committee elected organisations known

Alain Christian Essimi Biloa, Africa regional desk shared a number of ILC global initiatives, including the Rangeland Initiative and the global call to action: Land Rights Now.

Faustin Kakule Mutsukunde, ILC council representative Africa, shared updates about membership. He says 35 organisations applied to join ILC. Among which 29 completed the application process. Delegates discussed expansion processes and suggesting membership should grow to reach Northern Africa.

In the afternoon session, Kennedy Orwa, executive director of Environment Liaison Centre International (ELCI) and ILC Africa steering committee member (Eastern Africa) explained the election process of the new steering committee members. He urged members to make a gender-sensitive election. Members closed the day electing new steering committee members organisations according to respective regions.

Announced on day 3, elected member organisations include:

  • Central Africa-PROPAC (Plate-forme Régionale des Organisations Paysannes d’Afrique Centrale)
  • Southern Africa-SIF (Solidarité des Intervenants sur le Foncier)
  • Western Africa-WiLDAF (Women in Law and Development in Africa)
  • Eastern Africa-UCRT (Ujamaa Community Resource Team)

Smallholder farming, a new priority area for ILC Africa

ILC Africa members shared their vision for 2018.  DR Cheikh Oumar Ba, executive director, IPAR suggested national policy dialogue is key to influencing policy at country levels. While André Tioro, Programme manager at Producers' Organisations of West Africa (ROPPA) stressed smallholder farmers must enter ILC Africa’s priorities. Motlanalo Lebepe, executive director, Nkuzi Development Association (NKUZI) and steering committee member (Southern Africa), chairing day 3 encouraged more views. Members adopted the strategy including the new priority area. In 2018, efforts will work to ensure equitable land and public investment that support small-scale farming and back smallholder farmers through cooperative and partnership business models.

ILC Africa Regional Assembly celebrates the10th Anniversary of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP)

An international press conference organised on September 14 after the morning session gathered 34 members of the press to discuss Indigenous Peoples. A mixed panel of 10 international and national actors, including Indigenous Peoples from 6 countries discussed with members of the press.

ILC Africa has a commitment to “respect and protect the inherent land and territorial rights of Indigenous Peoples”. Michael Taylor, ILC director explains to the press that ILC members worked for 20 years for the adoption of the UNDRIP and the declaration in 2007 was a huge victory for them as they were recognised at the highest level.

“What we now see in reality is that most of the aspirations made in the declaration are yet to be fulfilled,” he adds.

Understanding CBIs

ILC Africa relays on Commitment Based Initiatives (CBIs) to achieve people focused land governance at country levels. Audace Kubwimana, programme manager, ILC Africa introduced the 2018 work plan to members opening the afternoon session of day 3.  In small groups, members discussed current CBIs and suggested inputs for the next year. CBIs discussed again and structured activities with new inputs for next year. New CBIs proposed will focus on Indigenous Peoples and small-scale farming.

Find More

  • Use the hashtags #AFLANDRA17 and #ILCAfricaRA17 to follow the conversation online
  • Read about day 1 to discover how debates on land reforms in Africa unfolded at the University of Yaounde 2
  • Follow the Centre for Environment and Development (CED) on Twitter and Facebook