by Anna Knox and Peter Veit
NB: This guest post was originally posted on Landesa’s Field Focus blog, and is cross-posted on TN with the kind permission of Landesa and the World Resources Institute. TN readers are advised of a number of other interesting recent postings on the Landesa blog, including a critique of the short-term thinking behind large-scale land acquisition in Africa, an analysis of the negative correlation between women’s land rights and domestic violence, and defenses of the virtues of small firms by Robert Mitchell and Bill Gates.
Regardless of what matters to you – access to education, universal food security, strengthening women’s rights, or a healthier environment – land rights plays a key role in achieving these goals.
When people have secure access to land, it can lead to:
- Economic development through increased agricultural productivity,
- Improved childhood nutrition,
- Increased school attendance and investments in basic education,
- Increased environmental stewardship,
- Reduced potential for social instability and conflict,
- Reduce vulnerability to domestic violence.
Focus on Land in Africa, a recently launched web-based tool focused on sub-Saharan Africa, aims to help policymakers and practitioners understand the links between land rights and critical development outcomes. Designed by World Resources Institute and Landesa as an online education tool, the site is interactive and uses slideshows, timelines, maps, videos and more in order to appeal to and engage users. Currently, the tool features lessons drawn from six sub-Saharan African countries: Ghana, Kenya, Mali, Mozambique, Tanzania, and Uganda. These lessons were developed with funding support provided by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. More countries will be featured as the tool grows.