Land markets emerged in certain regions during the colonial era, but have become particularly dynamic in many West African countries over the last few decades. Securing land transactions is a major development issue because of the implications of land markets for investments and social peace. Market transactions in rural West Africa include a variety of arrangements, most of which are ‘informal’ or ‘extra-legal’.
This note explains why it would be more pragmatic to secure transfers of rights rather than the land rights themselves (as current public policies aim to do) and, given the constraints to legal formalisation, why priority should be given to recognising and consolidating local practices that are already implemented by actors.
This note is also available in Frence here.