The role of African traditional authorities in land-based investment governance | Land Portal
Contact details: 
Neil Sorensen,

Namati: Innovations in Legal Empowerment

Namati is an international organization that tests the potential of legal empowerment through innovative interventions and research. Through our work, we seek a better understanding of the impacts of legal empowerment and the most effective mechanisms for achieving them. 

ILC Africa

ILC Africa is a Regional Platform of the International Land Coalition (ILC), a global alliance of civil society and intergovernmental organisations working together to promote secure and equitable access to and control over land for poor women and men.

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16 November, 2023 14:00-15:30 GMT | 15:00-16:30 CET




Land is not just geography; it's a tapestry of culture, heritage, and social relations. As custodians of ancestral will and ethos, traditional authorities in many African countries hold significant influence over this landscape. As economies grow and state and customary systems evolve, traditional leaders and their institutions find themselves navigating complex or uncertain governance arrangements in the face of burgeoning demands of land-based investments in their domains.

Our webinar took participants on a journey to multiple countries and contexts, through which we unpacked the complexities and opportunities that arise in asserting and defining the roles of traditional authorities in land-based investments, and navigating the contestations that can occur in investment contexts, exploring critical gender dimensions along the way.

There's a further twist to the tale. Enter the world of land information governance, a beacon of transparency in the vast landscape. It ensures that land rights are accessible, transparently recorded, and serves as a counterbalance, reducing unchecked power and championing community rights.

A mosaic of voices, from traditional leaders to community advocates and governance experts, guided us through this narrative.




Nolundi Luwaya, Director of the Land and Accountability Research Centre (LARC), University of Cape Town, South Africa (Moderator)


Dr. Mahmoud Solomon, Assistant Director of Survey and Mapping, Liberia Land Authority



Milton Kamara, Chairperson of the Landowners Committee, Kasseh Chiefdom, Sierra Leone

Nana Ama Yirrah, Founder and Director, COLANDEF


Benard Opaa, Deputy Director Natural Resources and Environment at the National Land Commission in Kenya


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In a thought-provoking webinar moderated by Nolundi Luwaya, Director of the Land and Accountability Research Centre at the University of Cape Town, experts from across Africa convened to unravel the complexities of the role of traditional authorities in land-based investment governance. This event brought to light the unique challenges and strategies employed by traditional authorities in managing land-based investments.

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