ECA Reviews its Work on Strengthening Africa’s Land Policy Sector in a Year of Challenges

The Economic Commission for Africa ECA’s overarching focus is to support member states in achieving sustainable development and Agenda 2063. One of which is through policy support and creating an enabling environment to increase private sector investment in agriculture, infrastructure, energy and services, and improve the business-enabling environment.  In delivering the above mandate, ECA’s Agriculture and Business Enabling Environment Section (ABEE) sector assists member States in formulating and implementing evidence-based policies to support their efforts to further enhance the private sector contribution to Africa’s transformation with a particular focus on agriculture and land-related policies.

The section presented its key results for the fourth quarter of 2021 and an outlook for 2022 at during the ECA’s Annual and Fourth Quarter (Q4) Accountability and Programme Review Meeting held from 14 to 17 December.

Joan Kagwanja, Section Chief for ABEE, stated, “For ABEE, the COVID-19 pandemic and political challenges in some countries of focus provided unfavourable circumstances in meeting targets. However, we feel confident that we are turning the corner. Our fourth-quarter performance shows we are on track towards improved land tenure and security in Africa, which contributes to the continent’s economic growth and transformation and in meeting Agenda 2030 and AU agenda 2063.”

Among the key achievements, the section:

  • Developed and validated five regional synthesis study reports on agro-poles development in Africa;
  • Validated the African regional overview report on food security and nutrition in Africa
  • Developed and reviewed four curricula for Jomo Kenyetta University of Agriculture and Technology in Kenya on land governance and resources management, which fosters the capacity of future land policymakers;
  • For the 2021 Conference on Land Policy in Africa, held in collaboration with AUC, AfDB, ECA, and the Government of Rwanda, over 80 paper presentations in over 60 sessions garnered over 280 articles in the media and over 1.18k in social media engagement.

“Regardless of the virtual nature of the conference,  we had over 450 unique virtual participants for the opening ceremony alone,” said Kagwanja.

Other achievements include capacity building masterclasses on land governance in Africa, publishing the fifth edition of the Africa Journal on Land policy and Geospatial Sciences for 2021, and developing the assessment report on strengthening women’s land tenure security in Guinea and the Democratic Republic of Congo. Some of these results were achieved while working in close partnership with COMESA, EAC, AfDB, DARBE and other development partners, including technical support to member states.

“It is expected that 2022 provides the opportunity improve the business enabling environment for attracting investments in the critical area of agriculture and land in Africa,” stated Kagwanja.