Land Law and The Extractive Industries: Challenges and Opportunities in Africa


Whilst the issue of land has always been highlighted as crucial in the successful operation of oil, gas, energy and mining industries, the sector has continued to fall prey to land grabbing, little or no compensation, and gender inequalities in land administration. This course is inspired by Dr Victoria Nalule’s book titled, ‘Land Law and the Extractive Industries: Challenges and Opportunities in Africa’.

There are various social, environmental and economic issues associated with acquiring land for oil, gas, and solid minerals projects. These land challenges are experienced in various resource-rich countries. Socially, many people are relocated to unfavourable places; economically, local communities are not given adequate compensation; and environmentally, extractive industries are associated with pollution which negatively impacts the agricultural and fishing industries that many local communities are heavily reliant on. Throughout history, land in Africa has been characterised by conquest and expropriation, the scars of which are still in evidence in countries such as South Africa, Zimbabwe and Namibia. In recent years, however, conflicts and exploitation are the marked features of the land that makes up the African continent, and these greatly influence the socio-economic and political sphere of the nations of Africa. Consequently, there has been increasing discontent among local people with respect to land procedures, including administration and registration, and this has led to enormous land disputes. Moreover, corruption has marred public institutions responsible for administering land in many African countries.

The main question to be addressed in this 12-week course is, how can we ensure effective land governance in the oil, gas, energy and mining sectors? Although there are laws governing land access to varying degrees throughout Africa, the high level of violence associated with land access and extractives in different countries cannot be ignored. Therefore, the purpose of this course is to introduce our participants to the various land legislation and reforms as they impact the extractive industries on the African continent. The term Land reform is the generic term for modifications in the legal and institutional framework governing land policy. In this respect, this course provides an overview of the legal and regulatory framework governing land administration across the African continent. The different land tenures, including freehold, leasehold and traditional/ customary land tenures, are also noted, given that they greatly influence the extractives industries, especially with respect to artisanal and small-scale mining.

About your facilitator

Who Should Study This Course?

·         Lawyers and practitioners

·         Government officials and policymakers interested in mining management and governance

·         Practitioners involved in sustainable development.

·         Graduate students and undergraduate students interested in the energy, mining and environmental sectors

Relevant Book for this Course