WASHINGTON, July 22, 2013—Africa is home to nearly half of the world’s usable uncultivated land, some 202 million hectares that can be brought under the plow. Yet it has the highest poverty rate in the world. The continent’s poor development record suggests it has not leveraged its abundant agricultural land and natural resources to generate shared and sustained growth.
A new World Bank report “Securing Africa’s Land for Shared Prosperity,” released on July 22, argues that poor land governance – the manner in which land rights are defined and administered – may be the root of the problem. The report offers a series of 10 steps for improving land governance that can help to revolutionize agricultural production and end poverty in Africa. With political will from African Governments and support from development partners, the plan to improve land governance in Africa in a decade could cost as little as US$4.5 billion..