International Land Coalition Africa - Annual Report 2018

This report describes the solid results ILC Africa achieved in 2018, facilitating land protection processes and helping many lead better lives. 

ILC Africa members can be proud of the work the platform has done in making the continent prosperous, better and people centred. The platform led many campaigns that secured rights for Indigenous Peoples, livestock keepers and pastoralists, protected land defenders and promoted women’s land rights across Africa.

We were quick to respond to civil society organisations' (CSOs) calls to pressure governments in Malawi, Tanzania, Kenya and Madagascar and our relentless support helped CSOs in Liberia and Togo nudge their governments to revise and pass new progressive land laws.

 In DRC and Cameroon, we supported land defenders in difficulties and trained more on how to stay safe, while campaigning for land rights. Our continental and country processes engaged elective officials on subjects close to the continent, including women’s land rights, land governance mechanisms and Indigenous Peoples’ rights.

ILC Africa continues to connect and mobilise resources and capacities to meet its commitments under its 2017-2021 strategy. It welcomed 18 new members and a new steering committee to guide the platform politically towards its determined contributions to development in Africa. As land markets move to rural areas, we are taking important steps to make sure people have the right tools to protect and defend their lands.

ILC Africa continues to connect and mobilise resources and capacities to meet its commitments under its 2017-2021 strategy. It welcomed 18 new members and a new steering committee to guide the platform politically towards its determined contributions to development in Africa. As land markets move to rural areas, we are taking important steps to make sure people have the right tools to protect and defend their lands.

In December 2018, we held the Social Tenure Domain Model (STDM) training in collaboration with the Global Land Tool Network (GLTN) for our national multi-stakeholder platforms. STDM is a tool that accommodates various tenure systems and enables communities to protect their lands. Roughly 70% of rural lands in Africa are undocumented and we count on this technological advancement to help close this gap.

Following up on the African Union’s renewed commitment to end hunger by 2025, in January 2018, ILC reinforced engagement with Regional Economic Communities (RECs) and other regional partners. To increase civic spaces on land, ILC Africa engaged the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) CSO dialogue forum in November.

Likewise, ILC began an understanding with the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) to promote land governance in the sub region and contributed ideas to support its gender action plan on agriculture.

To protect landscapes and ecosystems, ILC’s Rangelands Initiative partnered with the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) and the UN Environment to build momentum for the implementation of commitments on biodiversity at the Global Landscapes Forum in Nairobi in August. In November, African ministers adopted an action agenda on this matter.

Women land rights were on top of our 2018 agenda. We supported 4 women of the Kilimanjaro Initiative to engage the ECOWAS Parliament during the Initiative’s second anniversary and helped establish women land rights satellite units in six countries; namely Cameroon, Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Benin, Togo, Burkina Faso and Senegal.

We equally supported the development of the scorecard, a tool that monitors the implementation of women’s land rights in the continent.

Our commitment to promoting women’ land rights remains strong and we are proud our initiatives on gender equality are recognised in the continent. For example, the European Union Delegation in Kenya joined ILC’s Land Governance Learning Journey, to see how supported processes empowered women in pastoral communities in Tanzania in June 2018.

We are tracking the root causes of land grabbing.

supporting investigative land journalism, country assessments and developing a network of lawyers to protect people’s rights across Africa, we are gaining new insights on how to help communities.

ILC Africa played a leading role in the landmark victory of the Indigenous Ogiek Peoples against the Government of Kenya in 2017 and was with them in May 2018 when the Ogieks reminded the government of Kenya to implement the ruling.

We witnessed significant changes last year. Across the continent, we witnessed a sharp increase in human rights violations, especially on land rights defenders. This was more pronounced in DRC and Madagascar. Members also struggled to implement supported processes in DRC and Uganda.

Similarly, structural changes and lack of financial resources affected members’ capacity to deliver on our commitments in several countries.

But we launched the Africa Organisational Leadership Programme, which raised the profile of selected members on leadership. Though this initiative was hugely saluted, it was a proof of concept and thus limited to a few. Our hope is to scale the initiative to reach as many members as possible in the coming years. The challenge ahead of us is huge and daunting. But as this report demonstrates, we have made significant progress together and can build on to stamp our next success.

With our partners and supporters in the continent and around the world, we will continue striving to improve the livelihoods of the poorest and the less privileged through land governance.

Author: 
Kafui Kuwonu, Chairperson, ILC Africa
Year: 
2019