Africa

Africa Regional Focal Point

The Africa Regional Focal Point (RFP) covers the whole of the African continent, which is the most targeted region for large-scale land acquisitions (LSLAs) in the global south. The considerable differences across Africa in terms of scale, intention, and investors suggest that numerous aspects motivate the choice to invest here, including the perceived availability of land and other natural resources, geographical, cultural and historical reasons, and host country specifics such as policy support or market opportunities. 

The Africa RFP, hosted by the University of Pretoria, aims to equip international, regional, local, and national stakeholders with relevant information in land-related debates, and engages with a number of organisations across the continent to disseminate information, support advocacy, and stimulate land debate. The Africa RFP also participates in the Network of Excellence of Land Governance in Africa (NELGA) initiative and actively implements the Land Matrix Initiative’s decentralisation process by assisting in the establishment of National Land Observatories (NLO) in selected countries, providing support in the form of discussion on data variables, a technical platform, and associated training and events.

To respond to the need for objective and evidence-based data on LSLAs, the Africa RFP has developed a diverse data collection strategy, including the use of: 

  • A strong regional network of partners who contribute information and participate in regular verification processes
  • Research reports and publicly available company and media documents
  • Direct engagement with investors to collaborate facts
  • Data from users
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Country profiles

Country profiles present national-level data of large-scale land acquisitions and transactions including who the investors are, what the aim of the investment is, who the former owner was and what the land was previously used for, and what the potential benefits and impacts of the land deals are. 

By making this information available, the Land Matrix hopes to enhance broad engagement and data exchange, facilitating the continuous improvement of the data. Find out how to get involved here.

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Use customisable filters to explore the web-based geographic information systems (GIS) map for information about land deals from global down to regional and country level.

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Search the dataset through pre-configured entry points where deals have been grouped by common shared attributes (such as nature of investment, region, or investor), filter information according to your line of interest, or drill down to single deals where you can provide feedback and start a discussion through comments.

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Generate your own infographics using a wide selection of charts to illustrate information about deals, such as the global flow of transnational land acquisitions, the total size and number of deals, and a breakdown of deals according to sector and interest.

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News and Publications

Better understanding land acquisition in Ghana through the Land Matrix Data Campaign

Ghana has seen a significant surge in large-scale land acquisitions (LSLAs) in recent years, and has in fact become one of the LSLA hotspots in Africa. However, since the way in which the number of transactions, estimated size of land, and categorisation of LSLAs is captured varies considerably between different …

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Land inequality and economic growth: A meta-analysis

Authors: Maria Cipollina, Nadia Cuffaro and Giovanna D’Agostino

Published: 2018

Source: Sustainability, MDPI

Increasing commercial pressure on land may lead to land concentration in developing countries, especially in the context of complex systems of property rights. In this article we review through meta-analysis (MA) the econometric findings of the …

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Land deals in Africa: Many suffer challenges

Author: Phillan Zamchiya

Published: 2020

Source: Institute for Poverty Land and Agrarian Studies (PLAAS)

Abstract: Globally, Africa remains the largest continent attracting land-based investments from the world. Data from the Land Matrix indicates that there were 422 transnational land deals concluded in the agricultural sector (42% of all global deals) …

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