In the Lake Victoria Basin region, the majority of the population is rural and farming is the dominant way of making a living. In recent decades, however, the region has experienced a dramatic rise in population, increased urbanisation and growing interest in large-scale land acquisitions for biofuel and food production for export.
– The region needs new ideas and perspectives that include issues of land in the discussion of regional integration. Otherwise conflicts over land and livelihoods are likely to increase in the region, says Opira Otto, workshop coordinator.
One way to develop new ideas and perspectives is to bring together African scholars from the region. NAI is one of the hosts of a workshop to be held in Dar-es-Salaam from 29 to 31 May. Opira Otto is the workshop coordinator in cooperation with Michael Ståhl, land tenure specialist and Kjell Havnevik, professor and head of NAI’s research cluster of rural and agrarian change which is also the organizer of the conference in cooperation with the Department of Forest Economics, the Sokoine University of Agriculture in Tanzania.