Land Governance and Women’s Rights in Large-Scale Land Acquisitions in Cameroon

Citation:

Fonjong, Lotsmart, Irene Sama-Lang, Lawrence Fombe, and Christiana Abonge. 2016. “Land Governance and Women’s Rights in Large-Scale Land Acquisitions in Cameroon.” Development in Practice 26 (4): 420–30. doi:10.1080/09614524.2016.1162285.

Authors: Lotsmart Fonjong, Irene Sama-Lang, Lawrence Fombe, Christiana Abonge

Abstract:

ENGLISH ABSTRACT

This article identifies and examines the role of actors involved in the process of large-scale land acquisitions in Cameroon. It is based on primary data from interviews conducted among principal actors. Findings reveal that government, chiefs, and to some extent elites, play key roles in formal and informal processes that grant land to investors. However, both processes neglect women and affected communities because there are no mechanisms to hold actors accountable to them, especially to women who depend on land for their livelihood. The article concludes that a legal framework that makes the process transparent and promotes accountability and gender inclusiveness is indispensable.

FRENCH ABSTRACT

Cet article identifie et examine le rôle des acteurs intervenant dans le processus des acquisitions de terres à grande échelle au Cameroun. Il se base sur des données primaires tirées d'entretiens menés parmi les acteurs principaux. Les conclusions révèlent que le gouvernement, les chefs et, dans une certaine mesure, les élites, jouent des rôles clés dans les processus formels et informels qui garantissent des terres aux investisseurs. Cependant, les deux processus négligent les femmes et les communautés touchées, parce qu'il n'y a pas de mécanismes conçus pour exiger des comptes aux acteurs, en particulier pour les femmes qui sont tributaires des terres pour gagner leur vie. Cet article conclut qu'un cadre juridique rendant le processus transparent et promouvant la redevabilité et l'inclusivité de genre est indispensable.

SPANISH ABSTRACT

El presente artículo identifica y examina el papel desempeñado por los actores implicados en el proceso de adquisición de latifundios en Camerún, basándose en datos primarios surgidos de entrevistas efectuadas con los actores principales. En este sentido, los hallazgos revelan que el gobierno, los caciques y, en cierta medida, las élites, juegan un rol importante en los procesos formales e informales a partir de los cuales se dota de tierras a los inversores. Tales procesos carecen de mecanismos que obliguen a los actores a rendir cuentas, especialmente a aquellas mujeres para quienes sus tierras son su medio de vida. Por esta razón, tanto éstas como las comunidades afectadas son ignoradas y pasadas por alto. El artículo concluye señalando que resulta indispensable crear un marco legal que dé transparencia al proceso, promoviendo la rendición de cuentas e integrando el enfoque de género.

Keywords: aid, accountability, gender, diversity, governace, public policy, Rights, Sub-Saharan Africa

Topics: Gender, Women, Land grabbing, Rights, Land Rights, Property Rights Regions: Africa, Central Africa Countries: Cameroon

Year: 2016

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