From the 15th to the 17th of September 2020 the International Land Coalition in Africa (ILC Africa), African Union Commission (AUC) and Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) are convening various stakeholders on land governance to the Africa Land Forum 2020.

The over 1000 development actors will grapple with one theme: Delivering on the African Union’s Agenda 2063 for people-centred land governance in Africa.

The multi-stakeholder engagement on land governance will be held online.

According to the press release from the International Land Coalition Africa (ILC, Africa), the Regional Coordinator. Audace Kubwimana stressed on the need to address the land tenure security and the conflict that decreases effective land governance.

“For the Africa we want to be achieved, we must strategically address the burning issues of weak land tenure security, locust swarms that destroy crops in the Horn of Africa, regional insecurity and conflict that decrease effective land governance, and climate change-related droughts and flooding destroying crops and the livelihoods of millions of African smallholder farmers,” she said

Hinting that these concerns echo many aspirations on Agenda 2063’s master plan for the transformation of Africa into the global powerhouse of the future in a few decades.

The Program for the 2020 Land Forum will prioritize five areas, key to the delivery of Agenda 2063:

Reflection: How assessing the status of the implementation of the AU Declaration on Land Issues and Challenges in Africa (at the regional and national Levels) can further advance its progress.

Inclusion and Gender Equality: How meeting the targets set in the Agenda 2063 Implementation Plan (2013-2023) is instrumental to forging greater inclusion and gender equality in Africa, post COVID-19.

Social Peace: How land plays a key role in rebuilding Africa, fighting hunger and achieving the SDGs through family farming.

Ecology: How to restore landscapes and rangelands, and through them fight against land degradation and climate crisis in Africa.

Investment: How land can become a key driver of the African economy, benefiting the rural communities.

Africa remains a huge net food importer, at a cost of more than $47 billion in 2018, with Covid-19 restrictions equally triggering higher lost income, as unsold and rotting food accumulates on farms.

That was not the wish of Member States in 2013 when they adopted Agenda 2063.

Good land governance cuts across the aspirations and strategic goals of Agenda 2063 blueprint.

To decrease food importation and escalating food prices, the implementation of AU’s Declaration on Land Issues and Challenges at regional and national levels is imperative.

Processes such as the Framework and Guidelines on Land Policy in Africa, the Voluntary Guidelines on the Responsible Governance of Tenure of Land, Fisheries and Forests in Context of National Food Security (VGGT), and

The AU Guiding Principles on Large Scale Land Based Investments in Africa (LSLBI) provide the continent with instruments to make land a key driver of economic prosperity.

Head of Rural Economy Division, AU’s Department of Rural Economy and Agriculture, Dr. Janet Edeme, places importance to the need to factor in the role of continental and regional integration institutions to enable a better implementation of the Africa Union Land Agenda.

“The 2020 Land Forum affords us the opportunity to assess how far we have come, and what needs to be adjusted so as to improve land governance on the continent,” she says.

The Forum promises to give a prominent place to inclusion and gender equality in land governance since it is critical in meeting the targets set in the Agenda 2063.