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The Global Land Rush: What This Means for Customary Land Rights

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Type: Working Paper
Author: Wily, Liz Alden
Date: 2011
Agency: Rights and Resources Initiative, Washington, DC
Series: Rights to Resources in Crisis: Reviewing the Fate of Customary Tenure in Africa, Brief #5 of 5
URI: https://hdl.handle.net/10535/7717
Sector: Land Tenure & Use
Region: Africa
Subject(s): land tenure and use
property rights
Abstract: "Other briefs in this series examine the history and current status of customary land rights in Africa. These are rights enjoyed by more than half a billion people in sub-Saharan Africa, most of them (75%) definably poor. Customary rights apply to lands that are acknowledged locally to be under the jurisdiction of a community. They are acquired, defined, and upheld by modern rural communities to meet present-day circumstances, but shaped by practices ('customs') which may be longstanding ('traditions'). Customs usually include the right of members of the community to access lands to cultivate and to share use of remaining off-farm resources such as forests, rangelands, marshlands, ponds and streams."

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