PLAAS WEBINAR: African land rights in the time of the coronavirus
Thursday, May 28, 2020
Online - 13:00





The COVID-19 pandemic has rapidly expanded from a public health to a food and livelihood crisis, exposing the vulnerability of millions of rural people who have limited access to and insecure tenure of land and other natural resources. At the same time, those who have secure land rights may be buffered from livelihood shocks. Limitations on the functioning of state and non-state institutions and the movement of people and goods are expected to remain in place until after infections have peaked and/or until a vaccine is found and made widely available. Meanwhile, gendered inequalities in land access and rights may be underscored or challenged as households shift short-term strategies, as cash incomes from non-farm work shrink or are cut off, and the work of food provisioning takes centre stage. Among the evident outcomes already are the halting of programmes to secure tenure, institutional support for land rights and conflict management, and the diversion of state and donor resources towards emergency responses. This underscores the importance of resilience and accountability among local institutions—both state and traditional – in land governance. The immediate crisis needs to be better understood if we are to develop better responses now and beyond the pandemic.

Join this webinar to hear and debate:

  • What impact is the pandemic having on rural communities who depend on land-based livelihoods—and how are they responding?
  • In what ways is the pandemic exposing gender inequalities?
  • What can and must be done to secure people’s access and rights to land both now and beyond the immediate crisis?

The speakers for this webinar are:

• Dr Joan Kagwanja, Kenya/Ethiopia
African Land Policy Centre, African Union/UN Economic Commission for Africa/African Development Bank

• Fatmata Fouard-Kanu, Sierra Leone
Namati Land Rights Organisation

• HRH Stephen Drani, Uganda
Forum for African Traditional Authority

• Bernadus Swartbooi, MP, Namibia
Leader, Landless People’s Movement and former deputy minister of Lands and Resettlement

PLAAS is a special node of the Network of Excellence on Land Governance in Africa (NELGA) and convenes a short course on the Political Economy of Land Governance in Africa. The three speakers from West, East and Southern Africa are all alumni of this course, and are key thinkers, activists and leaders on land governance in their respective countries.