From Business Ghana
Sub-Saharan Africa is home to nearly half of the worlds usable, uncultivated land but so far the continent has not been able to develop these unused tracts, estimated at more than 202 million hectares, to dramatically reduce poverty and boost growth, jobs, and shared prosperity.
According to a new World Bank report, Securing Africas Land for Shared Prosperity, released today, African countries and their communities could effectively end land grabs, grow significantly more food across the region, and transform their development prospects if they can modernize the complex governance procedures that govern land ownership and management over the next decade. Africa has the highest poverty rate in the world with 47.5 percent of the population living below US $1.25 a day.
Despite abundant land and mineral wealth, Africa remains poor, says Makhtar Diop, World Bank Vice President for Africa. Improving land governance is vital for achieving rapid economic growth and translating it into significantly less poverty and more opportunity for Africans, including women who make up 70 percent of Africas farmers yet are locked out of land ownership due to customary laws. The status quo is unacceptable and must change so that all Africans can benefit from their land. The report notes that more than 90 percent of Africas rural land is undocumented, making it highly vulnerable to land grabbing and expropriation with poor compensation.
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