STREAM: Land policy transformation, accumulation and dispossession in rural and peri-urban Africa

STREAM: Land policy transformation, accumulation and dispossession in rural and peri-urban Africa

Land in rural and peri-urban Africa has become a major contested focal point for a growing number of domestic and international players.  A number of African governments are in the process of revising national land policies aimed at accommodating investment. New modalities of aid have pushed private-public partnerships established in order to promote the growing and processing of cash crops through contract and plantation farming. At the same time, cadastral activities are increasing as governments move from customary rights and local control over land to individual adjudication. Panels in this thematic stream will attempt to identify the forces underlying the dynamics of accumulation and dispossession of land and attendant processes of land policy transformation in rural and peri-urban Africa.

Confirmed panels

Panel 1: Land rights, class differentiation, inclusion and exclusion in rural Africa

Chair: Kelly Askew

  • Land as site of class performance, of inclusionary and exclusionary practices in a changing Nigerian community, Ugwu, Chidi, (Department of Sociology & Anthropology University of Nigeria, Nsukka, Nigeria)
  • Current land reforms in Uganda, and why northern farming communities have reason to fear, Hopwood, Julian, (London School of Economics and Political Science, London, United Kingdom)
  • CSR Cover-ups for Violent Land Dispossession by Mining Companies in Rural Tanzania: The Case of Geita Gold Mine, Mbirigenda, Shukrani, Kassian, (University of Dar es Salaam, Dar es Salaam, Tanzania)
  • In the Shadows of the Third Chimurenga? African Migrant Elite Intermediaries and Beneficiaries during Zimbabwe’s Agrarian Reform, Daimon, Anusa, (University of Zimbabwe, Harare, Zimbabwe

Panel 2: Large scale agricultural investment, gender and rural livelihoods

Chair: Juliana Porsani

  • ‘Land Grabbing’ in the FFV Exports sector in Senegal and contradictions of Agrarian change, DIENG, (SOAS, University of London, LONDON, United Kingdom)
  • Socio-economic outcomes of Large-Scale Land Acquisitions: Evidences from sugarcane investments in Malawi and Tanzania, Herrmann, Raoul, (German Development Institute, Bonn, Germany)
  • Large-scale Agricultural Land Investments and Female Labor Outcomes: Macro-Micro Evidences from in Tanzania, Osabuohien, Evans, S.,(Covenant University, Ota, Nigeria); Herrmann, Raoul, (German Development Institute, Bonn, Germany); Efobi, Uchenna, R, (Covenant University, Ota, Nigeria); Gitau, Ciliaka, (The World Bank, washington, United States)
  • A local level assessment of the implementation and implications of a large-scale land acquisition in the Lower Limpopo, Mozambique, Porsani, Juliana, (Södertörn University, Huddinge, Sweden); Lehtilä, Kari, (Södertörn University, Huddinge, Sweden); Lalander, Rickard, (Södertörn University, Huddinge, Sweden); Börjeson, Lowe, (Stockholm University, Stockholm, Sweden); Caretta, Martina, (West Virginia University, Morgantown, United States)

Panel 3: Growth corridors and the Formalization of Dispossession in Africa

Chair: Howard Stein

  • Contested areas, evictions and investments: the myths and realities of agricultural improvement in the SAGCOT, Kilombero valley, Mwaka, Innocent, (University of Cologne, Cologne, Germany
  • Inequality, Poverty and the Dynamics of Class Differentiation in Rural Tanzania, Stein, Howard, (University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, United States); Askew, Kelly, (University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, United States); Maganga, Faustin, (University of Dar es Salaam, Dar es Salaam, Tanzania); Odgaard, Rie, (Danish Institute of International Studies (retired), Copenhagen, Denmark)
  • Conceptualizing dispossession in the global land rush: An aggregated analysis of four regions of Tanzania, Belair, Joanny, (School of Political Studies, University of Ottawa, Ottawa, Canada); Blache, Adriana, (LISST Laboratory, Geography department, University of Toulouse, Toulouse, France); Engström, Linda, (Department of Urban and Rural Development, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Uppsala, Sweden)

Panel 4: Accumulation by dispossession in rural and peri-urban Africa

Chair: Linda Engström

  • The (non-)regulation of peri-urban land deals around Dar es Salaam and Nairobi from the perspective of policy analysis, Schlimmer, (Sciences Po Bordeaux, Bordeaux, France)
  • Behind Accumulation and Dispossession: State and Large-Scale Land Investments in Nigeria, Attah, Noah Echa, (Federal University Kashere, Nigeria, Kashere, Nigeria)
  • Rural Livelihoods, Land Politics and ‘Accumulation by Dispossession’ in Ghana. Evidence from the Ashanti region, Abrefa Busia, Kwaku, (University of Oxford, Oxford, United Kingdom); Hagan, Jonathan, Antwi, (University of Bath, Bath, United Kingdom | Participatory Development Associates, Ghana., Accra, Ghana)

Panel 5: Contesting Land Reform Regimes: Politics, Policy and Power

Chair: Marie Gagne

  • The Politicization of Land Tenure Reforms in the Constitutional Implementation Process in Kenya, Ouma, Smith, (Strathmore University, Law School, Nairobi, Kenya); Kariuki, Francis, (Strathmore University, Law School, Nairobi, Kenya); Ouma, Smith, (Strathmore University, Law School, Nairobi, Kenya)
  • Stalled Land Reforms in Senegal: Between State Avoidance and Impotence, Gagne, Marie, (University of Toronto, Toronto, Canada)
  • Agricultural Commercialization, Land Commodification, and Smallholder Access to Land: What Role for Policy?, Ayamga, Michael, (Dept. for Agricultural Economics Faculty of Agribusiness and Communication Sciences, Tamale, Ghana) and Laube, Wolfram, (Center for Development Research, University of Bonn, Bonn, Germany)
  • Angola’s “Land Network”: Negotiations, victories, and existential fights, Safarik, Bradley, Alan, (Institut d’Etudes Politiques de Bordeaux Research laboratory: LAM (Les Afriques dans le Monde), Bordeaux, France)



If you have any queries or suggestions please contact Howard Stein(, Linda Engstrom ( and Kelly Askew ( For panel and paper submissions please follow the instructions on the website 

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