WEBINAR REPORT - Enhancing accountability to agribusiness investments: experiences from West Africa

A webinar organised by the International Institute for Environment and Development (IIED) in June 2017 highlighted a range of tools and approaches can support rural communities to exercise their rights and give them greater control over agribusiness deals that could affect their future.

An initiative in Senegal, described by Mamadou Fall from Innovation Environnement Développement en Afrique (IED Afrique), piloted locally negotiated land charters in two locations and sets the ground rules on how local governments should perform their responsibilities vis-à-vis local communities, promote public participation in the decision-making process, and report to their constituents on terms agreed with investors. Community paralegals helped facilitate dialogue among the various stakeholders.

Mark Kakraba-Ampeh, from the Land Resource Management Centre (LRMC), discussed how consultative committees in Ghana represented diverse local groups (including migrants and youth) to promote inclusive decision making around agribusiness deals. They also provided the committees with valuable learning materials, including a guide on decision making and benefit sharing regarding agribusiness investments, and a checklist detailing the process to allocate land to investors.

Samuel Nguiffo, from the Centre for Environment and Development (CED), talked about a project in Cameroon that selected and trained new law graduates ('junior lawyers') and seconded them to a local grassroots organisation where they assisted rural people in legal matters.

Watch the recording of the webinar here

More background on IIED legal tools and agribusiness here