Experts call for implementing land policies to address cross-border conflicts in Africa

By Xinhua
On 24 November 2023 at 06:00

Experts have called for implementing regional and continental land policies and conventions to address unfolding cross-border conflicts involving dwindling pastoral resources in Africa.

The call was made on Thursday at the 2023 Conference on Land Policy in Africa at the African Union (AU) headquarters in Addis Ababa, Ethiopian capital.

The conference discussed the implementation of cross-border land policies and ways to address conflicts arising from the movement of pastoral communities across the continent.

Hubert Ouedraogo, one of the speakers and land policy experts in Burkina Faso, said the pastoral communities in Africa are under threat due to dwindling pastoral resources and widespread conflicts as they cross borders searching for pasture land and water bodies.

"The continental frameworks, regional protocols and conventions as well as cross-border legislations have been poorly or not implemented and failed to address problems faced by pastoral communities in Africa," Ouedraogo said.

According to figures released at the conference, the population of pastoral communities in Africa is 265 million.

Ouedraogo urged African governments and regional economic communities to promote the continental land agenda and work on the implementation of those frameworks and conventions or adopt new ones that will bring about lasting solutions.

Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) expert and one of the speakers Esther Obaikol said pastoral communities in Africa are facing conflicts as they go deeper and deeper into neighboring countries in search of water and pasture.

She said the conflicts are on the rise due to the impact of climate change and drought.

"Climate change has exacerbated conflict and that has led to a lot of instability in terms of resource sharing, and African governments and regional communities as well as civil society organizations should find common cross-border solutions to the movement of people and the movement of cattle across the continent," Obaikol said.

According to the expert, new protocols aimed at establishing cross-border land policies, finding alternative conflict solutions and sharing resources among the pastoral communities across borders are nearing ratification by AU and regional blocs.