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Research

Africa’s challenge in the 21st century is that of worsening poverty and conflicts largely as a result of lack of or limited access to natural resources such as land and water. In the post independence era, many African states have generally failed to redistribute land to indigenous populations and to protect existing land rights of the indigents from foreign investors.

Current Social Science research in Africa is weak and compromised because of lack of evidence based policies. Such a scenario has been compounded by the ‘brain drain’ from the South to the North leaving African public institutions under-capacitated and unable to contribute towards national policy development.

Africa’s problems can be grouped into five broad issue areas: (i) inappropriate development models, (ii) unresolved land questions (the majority are deprived of land, have weak land rights and are involved in conflicts over land), (iii) weak rural social rights and unsustainable livelihoods, (iv) weak national agrarian markets within the international market, and (v) emergence of weak social movements in Africa.

We have produced over 130 research outputs in the form of books, book chapters, journal articles, reports which delve into Agrarian issues from case specific, regional and broader global comparative perspectives.
Our detailed mapping and Baseline Surveys tracking changes over the decade of land reform in Zimbabwe have contributed significant empirical insights to the broader debates, which are frequently cited in analysis of agrarian reforms in Zimbabwe by policymakers and representatives of NGOs and civic organisations.  The Agrarian South Journal, published under the auspices of the Agrarian South Network which we have played a key role in establishing (read further under the link of this site) plays a key role in linking research about the agrarian problems in the Global South where the largest populations and arable lands are concentrated into the global debates about food, environmentally sustainable growth and resource development.