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This beautiful land: Corruption, discrimination and land rights in Sub-Saharan Africa

Across the globe, corruption denies people access to the land and resources they rely upon for their survival. At the same time, discrimination – direct and indirect – on grounds ranging from disability to ethnicity and from gender to religion, acts to deny land rights to the most marginalised. There is extensive evidence of corruption and discrimination impeding the equal enjoyment of land rights. To date, however, the relationship between these phenomena has been underexplored. This report seeks to fill that gap.

In 2021, Transparency International and the Equal Rights Trust published Defying Exclusion: Stories and Insights on the Links between Discrimination and Corruption. Bringing together a diverse group of case studies from across the globe, it documented and illustrated the mutually reinforcing links – the vicious cycle – between discrimination and corruption. Defying Exclusion marked the first attempt to systematically explore the phenomena we termed “discriminatory corruption.” This new publication explores – for the first time – the dynamics of corruption and discrimination in the land sector. It examines evidence and presents case studies from seven countries in Sub-Saharan Africa to understand how these harms exacerbate one another and fuel land inequalities.