The African Land Policy Centre (ALPC) has today launched an anthology of short stories on land governance in Africa.
The anthology carries 17 stories from authors drawn from across the continent.
The authors include Thakhani RayofAfrica (South Africa), Temitayo Olofinlua (Nigeria), Taffi Nyawanza (Zimbabwe) Gloria Mwaniga Odary (Kenya), and David Akelumbona Ayariga (Ghana), among others.
Titled, Finding Ground and Other Stories, the anthology shows the complexity of land issues in Africa and the opportunities that land provides to communities for, among others, food, identity, spirituality, culture, and heritage.
The launch is the culmination of a process of integrating the arts, culture and heritage in the continental agenda on land policies. The stories were selected from over seventy stories submitted as part of the November 2021 Conference on Land Policy in Africa, jointly organized by African Union Commission, the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa, and the African Development Bank with support of Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development through GIZ.
In her remarks, Janet Edeme, the Head of Rural Economy Division in the Department of Rural Economy and Agriculture of the African Union Commission in Addis Ababa, congratulated the writers and thanked them for advancing the AU agenda on land.
She urged writers to take an interest in land policy issues. “To thrive, the arts, culture and heritage also depend on the decisions made about land. With bad land governance decisions, the cultural and creative sectors would suffer,” she said.
The stories are anchored on African perspectives about land and how decisions made about this heritage impact people’s lives and well-being.
Leading the compendium is the story Boyi by Gloria Mwaniga Odary, closely followed by Everything Along the Line of Dolly by Tshepo S. Molebatsi and Finding Ground Beneath False Simulations by Thakhani RayOfAfrica.
The virtual event also saw the launch of a special issue of Jahazi Journal on Land Governance, Culture and Heritage.
The journal carries articles on land governance, spirituality, culture, heritage, and community life.
Speaking at the launch, Caroline Mose, who is the Editor of the Journal called on African researchers to undertake studies that can have a positive influence on policies and practices. “We have a responsibility to contribute to finding solutions for our people,” she said.