Land Justice for West Africa


For an Inclusive, Transparent and Consensual Land Management in West Africa

- Seeing the results of the comparative study of processes and land legislation in West African countries;

- Considering the principle of sacredness of land in sub-Sahara;

- Consideration done to the need to reconcile customary endogenous practices and logics of management called modern;

- Considering that land is a strategic domain and priority for sustainable development;

- Noting that West African land laws find it difficult to fully take into account land issues;

- Given that the current socio-economic context is punctuated by the phenomenon of land grabbing;

- In the context of promoting private investment through international, regional and national agricultural investment programs;

- Proven that internal growth strategies for land management lack effectiveness;

- Considering that the trend towards harmonization of land policies is in West Africa is fully matured;

- That ECOWAS is in the process of developing a sub-regional land directive intended to improve land issues in member countries;

- Following the noble aim of improving the living conditions of vulnerable populations;

- So that tensions over sharing land space are better conducted and social peace maintained;

- That the land rights of vulnerable groups are promoted and secured;


  1. At the ECOWAS Level,  it is highly recommended and proposed, as a contribution to improve the future directive and the Land Use Policy to:
  • Take into account the guidelines of the FAO and the African Union relating to the recovery of agricultural production and securing family farms;
  • Develop a judicial approach;
  • Encourage states to give more consideration to agricultural land use practices;
  • Encourage states to be more transparent in the process of land allocation;
  • Effectively involve civil society in the process of land reform and of monitoring the implementation of policies and sub-regional land policy;


  1. At National Level
  • Promote a comprehensive dual judiciary system based on customary  and statutory law for land tenure;
  • Propose a regulatory framework for large scale land based investments;
  • Make land information a priority in national land policy;
  • Facilitate the access of land for women and youth;
  • Provide simple procedures to formalize customary land rights;


These advocacy arguments were developed by Amadou Kanoute in behalf of hbs Nigeria/ West Africa and endorsed by CSOs and ECOWAS in June 2014, in Abuja.