Interrogating Large Scale Land Acquisitions (LSLAs) and its Implications for Women's Land rights in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA)

Centre for Basic Research in collaboration with University of Buea, Cameroon and the Centre for Gender Studies and Advocacy (GENGESA), University of Ghana, is implementing a project on Large scale Land acquisitions specifically looking at the impact on women’s land rights.

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This initiative, supported by the International Development Research Centre (IDRC) aims at examining how and under what conditions women can be empowered to effectively participate in the processes of LSLA to ensure that the legal and policy frameworks foster better accountability and legitimacy in land governance in sub-Saharan Africa.

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LSLA generally known as the process by which both local and foreign investors acquire or lease large expanse of land in the global South for the production of exportable bio-fuels and food has repositionedAfrica as a key player of globalization. The major question then relates to the impact of these LSLAs on the livelihoods of the majority citizens. Based on case studies from Cameroon, Ghana and Uganda, this study is investigating and analyse the extent to which land governance in sub Saharan Africa enforces accountability or excludes women to the benefits of comprador elites such as chiefs, governments and TNCs in the process of large scale land acquisition as well as citizen responses to these transactions.

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The design of the study is action oriented in the sense that it seeks to actively engage key stakeholders in identifying mechanisms for upholding accountability on the party of duty bearers, or demanding accountability in as far as rights holders, women in particular, are concerned.

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Objectives
\r\n The main objective is to examine the conditions under which women can be empowered to effectively participate in the processes of LSLAs and to ensure that the legal and policy frameworks foster better accountability and legitimacy on issues of land governance in SSA. The study specifically attempts to:

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  • Explore the formal and informal rules and mechanisms employed by actors involved in LSLA in the various study areas;
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  • Create gender sensitive evidence-based knowledge and strategies availableto women, local communities, NGOs, governments, and international actors to enhance accountability and legitimacy in LSLA processes that promote and respect women’s rights;
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The study Approach
\r\n The study will be conducted in selected sites in Cameroon, Ghana and Uganda. The research is designed to be action oriented in the sense that it will seek to actively engage key stakeholders.It applies variables such as the level of women’s consultation, participation, representation, transparency, collaboration, compensation, empowerment, as opposed to the existence of protests, lawsuits, resistance, conflicts or the absence of institutions and avenues to exercise citizen rights to demand accountability to measure the extent of accountability and legitimacy in the process of LSLA in the sub region.

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