African Land Questions, Agrarian Transitions and the State

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This empirically grounded study provides a critical reflection on the land question in Africa, research on which tends to be tangential, conceptually loose and generally inadequate. It argues that the most pressing research concern must be to understand the precise nature of the African land question, its land reforms and their effects on development. To unravel the roots of land conflicts in Africa requires thorough understanding of the complex social and political contradictions which have ensued from colonial and post-colonial land policies, as well as from Africa's 'development' and capital accumulation trajectories, especially with regard to the land rights of the continent's poor. The study thus questions the capacity of emerging neo-liberal economic and political regimes in Africa to deliver land reforms which addr

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Publié par
Date de parution 15 novembre 2007
Nombre de visites sur la page 2
EAN13 9782869783843
Langue English

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African Land Questions, Agrarian Transitions and the State
About the Author
Sam Moyo is a Professor of Development Studies and land policy analyst. He was formerly director of the Southern African Regional Institute for Policy Studies of the SAPES Trust, based in Harare, Zimbabwe. He has published extensively at national, regional and international levels on land policy and land reform issues, agrarian reform, environmental policy, ru-ral development, NGOs, cooperative and development cooperation. Among his publications includePeasant Organisations and the Democratisation Process in Africaco-edited with Mahmoud Ben Romdhane, (CODESRIA 2002), andReclaiming the Land: The Resurgence of Rural Movements in Africa, Asia and Latin America (Zed Books 2005) co-edited with Paris Yeros.
African Land Questions, Agrarian Transitions and the State: Contradictions of Neo-liberal Land Reforms
Sam Moyo
Working Paper Series
© Council for the Development of Social Science Research in Africa, 2008 Avenue Cheikh Anta Diop Angle Canal IV, BP 3304 Dakar, 18524 Senegal www.codesria.org All rights reserved
Layout by Daouda Thiam
Cover designed by Ibrahima Fofana
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Distributed in Africa by CODESRIA
Distributed elsewhere by the African Books Collective www.africanbookscollective.com
CODESRIA Working Paper Series ISBN:2-86978-202-0 ISBN 13:978-2-86978-202-0
The Council for the Development of Social Science Research in Africa (CODESRIA) is an independent organisation whose principal objectives are facilitating research, promoting research-based publishing and creating multiple forums geared towards the exchange of views and information among African researchers. It challenges the fragmentation of research through the creation of thematic research networks that cut across linguistic and regional boundaries.
CODESRIA publishes a quarterly journal,Africa Development,the longest standing Africa-based social science journal;Afrika Zamani,a journal of history; theAfrican Sociological Review;African Journal of International Affairs(AJIA);Africa Review of Books;and theJournal ofHigher Education in Africa.It copublishes theAfrica Media ReviewandIdentity, Culture and Politics: An Afro-Asian Dialogue.Research results and other activities of the institution are disseminated through ‘Working Papers’, ‘Monograph Series’, ‘CODESRIA Book Series’, and theCODESRIA Bulletin.
CODESRIA would like to express its gratitude to the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (SIDA/SAREC), the International Development Research Centre (IDRC), Ford Foundation, MacArthur Foundation, Carnegie Corporation, NORAD, the Danish Agency for International Development (DANIDA), the French Ministry of Cooperation, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), the Netherlands Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Rockefeller Foundation, FINIDA, CIDA, IIEP/ADEA, OECD, OXFAM America, UNICEF and the Government of Senegal for supporting its research, training and publication programmes.
Contents
1. Introduction............................................................................................... 1
2. Conceptual Issues and Perspectives on the Land and Agrarian Question.................................................................................................... 6 The land question in the era of neo-liberal developmentalism ....................... 7 The unique and diverse land questions of Africa ........................................... 16 Is there a land question in Africa? ............................................................... 16 Elements of Africa’s agrarian question ....................................................... 22 An overview of African land struggles ....................................................... 26 3. African Land Questions: Trends and Tendencies............................ 28 The land distribution question: Trends and sources ...................................... 28 Settler colonial land expropriation and racial land inequalities ............. 31 Class based land inequalities: Land concentration from ‘above’ and ‘below’ ................................................................................................ 34 African migrations: Labour, land access and exclusion ........................... 44 Ethnic and regional differentiation in land control and inequalities ...... 47 Foreign control of land: Agriculture, mining and natural resources ...... 52 Unequal land rights, discriminatory tenure systems and land market concentration .................................................................... 56 Introductory remarks .................................................................................... 56 African land tenure systems: Customary, tenure and landed property rights .......................................................................................... 57 Statutory and private land tenure systems: The evolution of land markets ....................................................................................................... 63 Concluding comment: Land tenure, land productivity and agrarian transition ............................................................................ 71 Agrarian ‘transition’ in Africa: Land use patterns and distorted growth ... 72 Agrarian capitalism, landed property rights and land use trajectories .......................................................................... 72 Extroverted land use policies and discriminatory land use regulations ....................................................................................... 76 The peasant and ‘merchant’ capital paths of land use: Large versus small farmers ........................................................................... 81 Land use regulation, land degradation and environmental sustainability ............................................................................................. 84
African Land Questions, Agrarian Transitions and the State
Concluding comments ................................................................................... 85 African urban land questions ............................................................................. 86 The location and sources of the urban question ........................................ 86 The unique roots of the African city and land conflict ............................. 88 Urban informal settlements, homelessness and land occupation movements ................................................................................................ 89 Concluding comments ................................................................................... 90 4. Gender Land Inequalities and Tenure Insecurity............................ 91 Patriarchy, power relations and unequal gender land rights ....................... 91 Patterns of gender-based land inequities ......................................................... 94 Concluding remarks: Advocacy for women’s land rights ............................. 95 5.The African State, Land Reform and Politics .....................................98 The African state, land policy and primitive accumulation .......................... 99 The state and land reforms in Africa .............................................................. 103 Redistributive land reforms: State-led and market ‘assisted’ tendencies .. 104 Land tenure reforms .......................................................................................... 109 Local state governance and customary land tenure administration .......... 114 Concluding comments: land reform outcomes and impacts ....................... 120 6. Social Movements, Civil Society and Land Reform ......................122 Social movements, land rights and struggle .................................................. 122 The organisation of land struggles .................................................................. 125 Neo-liberal land advocacy and the co-option of land reform ..................... 128 Land occupation movements of peasants and others .................................. 131 Ethno-regional movements, successionism and revolts ............................... 136 Concluding comment ........................................................................................ 137 7. Conclusions and Suggested Research Directions ..........................138 Historical trajectories of the land question and the agrarian transition .... 139 The land distribution question and redistributive land reforms ................ 140 The politics of land, state-civil society relations, and land movements .... 141 Gender relations, access to land and tenure .................................................. 141 Land tenure, property rights and land markets ............................................ 142 Land use and extroverted accumulation processes ...................................... 142 The urban land question ................................................................................... 143 Concluding remark ............................................................................................ 144 Notes ...........................................................................................................145
References ..................................................................................................146
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List of Boxes
Box 3-1: Case study of the Mambila Plateau ................................................ 41 Box 3-2: Examples of land markets in East and West Africa ...................... 68 Box 3-3: Land sales in central Côte d’Ivoire .................................................. 70 Box 4-1: Land and gender considerations in selected countries ................ 96 Box 6-1: Ethnic land conflicts in Kenya ......................................................... 127
List of Tables
Table 3-1: Arable land in North Africa ......................................................... 35 Table 3-2: Smallholder land distribution in selected African countries ...................................................................................... 37 Table 3-3: Summary of statistics on cattle and human population on the Mambila Plateau ...................................................... 42 Table 3-4: Land use categories on the Plateau, 1976–1990 ......................... 43