Information for G00130
Land in Africa: Market Asset or Secure Livelihood
Document begins: Land in Africa: Market Asset or Secure Livelihood Conference London, November 8-9, 2004 Land in Africa: rethinking its role in growth, investment and poverty reduction Prof Ben Cousins, PLAAS, UWC, South Africa 1. Agriculture and natural resources are centrally important to NEPAD and other initiatives to kick-start pro-poor economic growth in Africa. This is appropriate, given their large contributions to income at present and the high proportion of people still living in rural areas in most African countries. Agriculture and natural resources are clearly not the sole answer, given processes of urbanization and de-agrarianisation, the impacts of globalisation on agro-food regimes, and the continuing need for development in secondary and tertiary sectors of African economies, but they remain central to poverty reduction policies. 2. Given the key role of agriculture and natural resources, land rights and land reform are critical. Secure land rights are important to rural people investing resources in a range of economic activities and enterprises. They are also important to underpin the household livelihood security of both the rural and urban poor. Equitable access to land and natural resources is important to ensure that growth is broad-based and poverty reducing, and thus redistributive land reform ...