IIED webinar: improving accountability in agribusiness investments

News, 16 May 2017
Join our webinar on 6 June 2017 to discuss how rural people can push for more accountability in agribusiness investments, looking at examples from Cameroon, Ghana and Senegal.

A farmers’ house in Bandevouri, South Region, Cameroon. Bandevouri is one of several locations where the Centre for Environment and Development seconded a law graduate to assist rural people in legal matters (Photo: Thierry Berger)

A recent rise in agribusiness investments has increased pressures on land in many low- and middle-income countries. Rural people are coming together to protect their rights, to seek better terms or to oppose investments. Citizens groups in many countries are taking action to change the way that investments in natural resources are happening, working to protect the environment and the rights of citizens. 

IIED is hosting a webinar on Tuesday, 6 June 2017 to examine how civil society organisations are working to improve the accountability of land managment authorities in the context of agribusiness investments. The event will bring together experts from three African countries to discuss different approaches to action on agribusiness investments and local accountability.  

This online seminar is designed for civil society organisations in low and middle-income countries that want to support communities whose land rights and livelihoods are affected by agricultural projects. To join the webinar, email legaltools@iied.org before 29 May 2017.

The webinar is part of IIED's work on Legal Tools for Citizen Empowerment, a collaborative initiative that aims to help local communities protect their rights in relation to natural resource investments. 

Outline programme

• IIED associate Thierry Berger will introduce the webinar

• Mamadou Fall, from Innovation Environnement Développement en Afrique (IED Afrique), will report on a project in Senegal that piloted locally negotiated "land charters", setting ground rules on how local governments should perform their responsibilities, promote public participation and report to their constituents

• Mark Kakraba-Ampeh, from the Land Resource Management Centre (LRMC), will describe a project in Ghana that supported consultative committees representing diverse local groups in order to promote more inclusive decision making, and

• Samuel Nguiffo, from the Centre for Environment and Development (CED), will introduce a project in Cameroon that selected and trained recent law graduates ("junior lawyers"), seconded them to a local organisation and helped them assist rural people in legal matters.

Thierry Berger will then moderate a facilitated discussion with webinar participants. This is expected to look at questions such as:

  • What are the key features of the approaches?
  • How can communities and practitioners use these approaches to enhance accountability?, and
  • What are the challenges, and how can they be addressed? 

This webinar is part of the project 'Pathways to accountability in the global land rush: lessons from West Africa'. This event is carried out with the aid of a grant from International Development Research Centre (IDRC), Ottawa, Canada. The views expressed do not necessarily represent those of IDRC or its board of governors.

Event details  

Title: Enhancing accountability in agribusiness investments: experiences from West Africa
Date: Tuesday, 6 June 2017 
Time: 12-1.30pm (GMT+1) 
Designed for: Civil society organisations in low or middle-income countries
Where: From your desk or portable internet device. Webinars are online workshops that people can attend via the internet

To join the webinar: email us at legaltools@iied.org before 29 May 2017

About the panellists

Mamadou Fall is a coordinator of the natural resources governance programme at Innovation Environnement Développement en Afrique (IED Afrique). He holds an MSc in development planning, and has several years of experience in testing participatory approaches in agricultural and rural development, political governance and the management of land and natural resources. IED Afrique is an NGO that focuses on issues of sustainable development and citizenship in Africa, through capacity building and methodological innovation.

Mark Kakraba-Ampeh is the executive director of the Land Resource Management Centre (LRMC), based in Kumasi, Ghana. He is a recognised land tenure expert and has contributed significantly to policy debates on land governance in Ghana. LRMC is an NGO that focuses on education, research, advocacy and dissemination of information on land matters.

Samuel Nguiffo heads the Centre for Environment and Development (CED), an environmental NGO in Cameroon. Samuel studied law and political science, and has been working on natural resources management issues for more than 20 years.

Related reading

The following reports were prepared as part of the 'Pathways to accountability in the global land rush: lessons from West Africa' project:

Land investments, accountability and the law: Lessons from West Africa, Lorenzo Cotula and Giedre Jokubauskaite with M. Fall, M. Kakraba-Ampeh, P.E. Kenfack, M. Ngaido, S. Nguiffo, T. Nkuintchua and E. Yeboah, (2016), IIED

Land investments, accountability and the law: lessons from Senegal, Mamadou Fall, Moustapha Ngaido (2016), IIED/Innovation Environnement et Développement en Afrique 

Land investments, accountability and the law: lessons from Cameroon, Pierre- Etienne Kenfack, Samuel Nguiffo, Téodyl Nkuintchua (2016), IIED/Centre pour l’Environnement et le Développement

Land investments, accountability and the law: Lessons from Ghana, Eric Yeboah, Mark Kakraba-Ampeh (2016), IIED/Land Resource Management Centre


For more information about IIED's Legal Tools work, contact:

Lorenzo Cotula (lorenzo.cotula@iied.org), principal researcher in IIED's Natural Resources research group and team leader, legal tools

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