Land Justice

Cameroon’s vision is to become “an emerging country… by 2035”, and its Growth and Employment Strategy Paper (DSCE) aims to reduce poverty through growth and employment.

To achieve this goal, the government is working to renew the production base and increase foreign direct investment in growth sectors, particularly agriculture. More specifically, it has begun granting land concessions to foreign investors for agro-industrial operations.

Despite the opacity of the conditions under which concessions are granted and the lack of information, research reveals that, in 2013, between 1.6 and 2 million hectares were earmarked for agro-industrial exploitation (compilation FES, CED, ACDIC2012). These concessions are negotiated and granted without any competitive procedure, let alone the participation of key stakeholders, notably local communities and CSOs. The various stakeholders, in this case the local populations, continue to experience enormous difficulties in obtaining key information on the agro-industrial exploitation operations taking place in their locality, which poses both transparency problems that compromise the effective and informed participation of the various stakeholders in the decision-making process. This information deficit is characterized by the absence of any substantial consultation of third parties (local communities and CSOs), the non-publication of concession contracts, and the inaccessibility of contract clauses. Concessions are granted without transparent contracts concerning local employment, land royalties and benefit sharing.

In view of the current context characterized by strong pressure on land, this program aims to promote inclusive, responsible, equitable and efficient governance of land resources in Cameroon, and to promote equitable and secure access to land, and transparent, rational exploitation of land resources that respects the land rights and interests of local and indigenous communities, through research, capacity building, experience sharing, dialogue and advocacy.

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