This note is based on the scoping paper for the regional seminar on local land management in West Africa and Madagascar convened by the French Development Agency’s ‘Land Tenure and Development’ Technical Committee (CTFD) in Saint-Louis, Senegal, on 6-10 March 2023.
The seminar was attended by 70 participants from different institutional backgrounds (civil society organisation leaders and facilitators, land administration officials, academics, experts and researchers) who shared their experiences and analyses of initiatives in their countries (Benin, Burkina Faso, Côte d’Ivoire, Guinea, Senegal, Madagascar, Mali and Niger). The meeting was led by Sidy Mohamed Seck, Oussouby Touré and Pierre-Aimé Ouédraogo, who organised the sessions and moderated the discussions with support from the CTFD’s technical and scientific secretariat (GRET). The discussions were informed by presentations based on analyses of current experiences in the eight target countries undertaken for the meeting.
This note is based on the methodological framework of the seminar and has been enriched by the debates that structured the thematic discussions. It provides an analysis of land governance issues in relation to the decentralisation processes underway in several countries. It questions the land legitimacy of local authorities, which have new land management powers, in the face of village and inter-village entities that are mobilised around issues relating to the management of natural resources. The rise in conflicts and insecurity and their multidimensional causes are then analysed, along with their effects on the increasing complexity of land and natural resource management.