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Conference on land governance to engage cultural and creative sector practitioners

7 October, 2021
Conference on land governance to engage cultural and creative sector practitioners

Addis Ababa, 7 October 2021 – All is set for the fourth edition of the Conference on Land Policy in Africa to go ahead on 2-4 November in a hybrid format. The event, themed Land governance for safeguarding art, culture and heritage towards the Africa We Want, will feature both virtual sessions and physical events in Kigali, hosted by the Rwandan government.

The biennial conference, organized by the African Land Policy Centre, provides a platform for African stakeholders to network and deepen their commitment to land policy development, implementation and monitoring through access to knowledge and evidence-based policymaking.

The theme aligns with the African Union’s Declaration of 2021 as Africa's Year of Art, Culture and Heritage. Events will showcase stakeholders and experts from academia, research institutions, traditional authorities, governments, and the private sector.

Commenting on the links between land and creativity, linguist and cultural scholar Prof. Kimani Njogu says, “Creatives are inspired by and draw from landscapes in their work. Through language, character, rhythm, imagery and symbolism, they not only contribute in shifting attitudes and practices about land use and how it is managed but also in interrogating and influencing policies on land so that they are more inclusive and sustainable.” Prof. Njogu is an advisor to the Scientific Committee charged with organizing the conference.

Ahead of the conference, a masterclass for creative writers will take place on 8-9 October to offer writers an opportunity to explore land governance challenges across the continent with land policy experts. Participants will also learn the craft of storytelling with novelist and Nairobi Noir editor Peter Kimani, author of 'Dance of the Jakaranda,' a New York Times Notable Book of the Year.  

Writers attending the session have been asked to read selected texts, including E'skia Mphahlele's Down Second Avenue and Weep Not, Child, by Ngugi wa Thiong'o to deepen understanding of land issues.

Another session will explore how decisions concerning land use affect the film industry, how filmmakers draw on land issues for storytelling, and how as change agents, they raise questions about land.

"We look forward to the upcoming deliberations with stakeholders at this important conference. We ought to forge strategies together, for safeguarding art, culture and heritage to achieve the Africa we want in the context of Covid-19”, Pinto Moreira Emmanuel, African Development Bank Acting Director for the African Natural Resource Center, commented.

Media Contacts:

African Development Bank (AfDB)
Solange Kamuanga-Tossou | Communication Officer | Contact by email

African Union Commission (AUC)
Peace Lydia Mutuwa | Communication Office | Contact by email

United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (ECA)
Sophia Denekew | Communication Office | Contact by email