30 October 2014
The Land Policy Initiative (LPI) is a joint initiative of the African Union Commission (AUC), the Economic Commission for Africa (ECA) and the African Development Bank (AfDB) established in 2006. After developing and availing to AU member states a Framework and Guidelines on Land Policy in Africa (F&G, 2009), with a view to facilitating land policy development and implementation the LPI is now focusing on facilitating the implementation of the AU Declaration on land and being guided by a five year strategic plan and roadmap (2012- 2016). The strategic plan is articulated into 8 main objectives, with an Objective 7 pertaining to knowledge management.
As part of the implementation of the AU Declaration on land, the LPI organized in October 2011 a high level forum on large scale land based investments in land (LSLBI) in Nairobi Kenya, The key outcome of this forum was the Nairobi action plan which recommends the following actions: i) conduction an assessment study on LSLBI in Africa; ii) Developing guiding principles on LSLBI; iii) Enhancing the capacity of African governments and stakeholders to conduct win-win negotiations on LSLBI; iv) establishing a monitoring and reporting mechanism on LSLBI; v) supporting the development and implementation of national land policies which addresses the issue of LSLBI.
The LPI was successful in preparing an assessment report on LSLBI and developing related Guiding Principles for win-win investments in the land sector. As part of the recommendation related to establishing a monitoring and reporting mechanism on LSLBI, the LPI is now working in partnership with the University of Pretoria, on the development of an African Portal on LSLBI. The African Land Portal will be a knowledge and information platform that will avail reliable information and data on LSLBI in Africa, with a view to enhancing transparency, participation and promoting informed decision making on land related investments. The African portal will be an adaptation of the Open data software of the global land matrix. It will contribute to the land observatory initiatives in Africa, through gathering data (at national level), and will allow participation of stakeholders in monitoring and evaluating LSLBIs in Africa.
During the conference on land policy in Africa the LPI and developers of the portal are planning to unveil the portal to the participants as part of raising awareness about the need for such tool and engaging them in the operationalisation of the platform and maintenance of data. The conference will also be used as a means to gather feedback from participants on the quality and usefulness of the portal and allow for further adjustments.