Championing Women rights through Land Rights Advocacy in West Africa  

July 1, 2024

Photo: A photo of women farmers during a gender training in Sierra Leone / TrustAfrica  

In Ghana, Sierra Leone, and Cote d’Ivoire, TrustAfrica has been at the forefront working with women and cocoa farming communities by advocating for land rights and gender inclusion in decision-making processes. Recognizing that land tenure security is pivotal for fair value distribution and economic resilience, TrustAfrica initiated campaigns to raise awareness of existing land laws and provisions for women’s access to land.  

Through consultative engagements and multi-stakeholder dialogues, TrustAfrica has facilitated policy advocacy and implementation efforts. In Sierra Leone, the campaign aimed to achieve at least 30% representation of women in community land committees and popularisation of the new Land Act, Customary Land Act, and Gender Empowerment Act, while in Ghana, efforts focused on effective implementation of the Land Act 1034 and support for the formation of the Ghana Land Sector Multi-Stakeholder Platform (LSMSP). TrustAfrica also supported the development of guidelines for dispute resolution and is currently influencing the regulations for the Land Act based on farmer inputs.  

In Côte d’Ivoire, the campaign aimed to simplify land registration procedures and raise awareness through a video documentary highlighting women’s land rights issues. Significant achievements include the Ministry of Agriculture’s buy-in and commitment from lands commissions, communities, and chiefdoms in Sierra Leone to ensure women’s land ownership and representation in district land committees.  

In Ghana, TrustAfrica’s advocacy efforts led to the implementation of recommendations submitted in 2022 and the development of a comprehensive work plan to address all recommendations by the LSMSP. In Côte d’Ivoire, Agence Foncière Rurale (AFOR), the surveyors’ association, and local communities committed to supporting land registration and ownership by women.  

Looking ahead to 2024, TrustAfrica plans to intensify its advocacy efforts, particularly considering the EU Deforestation Regulation, which emphasises the importance of land tenure security in compliance measures. Farmers will need to demonstrate proof of ownership, making TrustAfrica’s work even more crucial in ensuring equitable land rights and gender inclusion in agricultural decision-making processes across West Africa.  

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