Third Learning Exchange: 10 February 2017 in Dakar, Senegal

Participants share ideas for engaging African governments right from the start

The Third Tenure Facility Learning Exchange, held in Dakar on 10 February 2017, focused on overcoming barriers to tenure implementation by engaging African governments. Twenty-nine people participated, including pilot leaders from Cameroon, Liberia, and Mali; technical experts; staff from the Tenure Facility secretariat; donors; and observers from the Democratic Republic of Congo, Burkina Faso, and Senegal.

Participants said government involvement ‘from the start’ is essential to success and to scaling up tenure security. To ensure early involvement, participants recommended that Tenure Facility initiatives be anchored in existing law, peace plans or reforms under discussion by the government, and demonstrate to governments how the project will help achieve government goals. They said the African pilots were achieving success by building on customary practices and by mapping and engaging the government institutions that need to be involved. They highlighted that they were discussion platforms that continue after projects close. ‘The dialogue structure is the key to success,’ said a participant. ‘It remains when the project is finished.’ Participants pointed to another key success factor – the appointment of an independent Tenure Facility Focal Point who is trusted by government and civil society.

Participants explored paths of expansion and the roles governments can play. They recommended equipping government agencies to share stories and learning from projects at regional, sub-regional and international forums such as the African Union, ECOWAS, CEMAC, and COMIFAC. In addition, they recommended capitalizing on other processes and initiatives such as FLEGT, the Interlaken Group, TFA 2020, RSPO, and REDD+. They also recommended early engagement with the private sector.

To learn more about the Third Learning Exchange and participant recommendations read this report on the meeting highlights.