Special Issue Journal of Human Geography and Environmental Studies

Special Issue 2, December 2018

Article Number: 11

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Sustainable land reforms as a comprehensive migration management agenda: A perspective of social inclusion in postcolonial Africa

Mwangi, S.M.

Pages 455-458

Abstract—Land is an essential factor of production in the economy. Moreover, it has an aesthetic and traditional value that should not be taken for granted. In most developing countries, there have been chronic unresolved land-related issues right from the colonial era. During colonization, ‘the divide and rule strategy’ of maintaining power by the colonialists led to the displacement of many African communities to weaken their ethnic cohesion and ability to conspire and fight back. Even after independence, the land issue remained unresolved and continued to multiply with the high population growth rate. After independence, the absence of national land policy to guide a coherent transition of land ownership led to the increased marginalization of many communities. Today, in many African countries, marginalization manifests through the proliferation of informal settlement, land degeneration, chaotic communal land tenure, and unsustainable food security systems/high prevalence of hunger. In some African countries, agrarian communities have had chronic conflicts with nomadic communities while in others countries, historical land-related injustices are the key factor for the increased rate of radicalization and the spread of terrorism. Due to the weak legislative framework in many African countries, land-related conflicts remain profound, and so does the human displacement. Amidst those conflicts, addressing the historic land injustices agenda has not been well presented as a comprehensive approach of managing the root cause of migration. This paper links the concept of human

security to land security and relates them to social-ecological vulnerability and resilience. It then explores the management of such insecurities as one aspect of addressing the root causes of marginalization, poverty, violence and forced displacement in Africa.

Keywords—historical land injustices, poverty and marginalization, conflict and wars, land reforms, comprehensive migration