The ANRC's volume on 'Rethinking Land Reforms in Africa: new ideas, opportunities and challenges' delivers what it promises: a diverse and stimulating compilation of perspectives over the relationship between land and the socio-economic conditions of people in Sub Saharan Africa. Its main merits are the reclamation of the political nature of land, the combination of academic and non-academic contributors who break with the monotone and hyper-specialized vocabulary that tend to monopolize conversations around land reforms, and the variety of topics and perspectives (including in disagreement).
October 9, 2020
By bringing forward this interlegal sensibility, ALIC invites the investor to think of their own best interest in broad term and to take the time to understand already-existing, pluralist socio-legal expectations and practices. It also implicitly reminds the investor to take the time to build a relationship with local communities that is buttressed by an iterative understanding of fairness (a core tenet of commercial law). Without such a relationship and appropriate due diligence, ALIC in effect recommends to the investor and the local community to not pursue the deal – no one benefits from a land transaction that is only made possible by disrupting local people’s lives or dislocating them from their homeland.
Overtly, debates on the Bill have morphed into a contest between food sovereignty and food security. This comment will highlight the core issues, mostly from the perspective of advocates of food sovereignty, and underscore that food sovereignty and food security are two sides of the same coin. If properly exploited, both can complement government efforts in bridging the hunger and poverty gap in the country.