Latest News Archive

Please select Category, Year, and then Month to display items
Previous Archive
17 May 2024 | Story Valentino Ndaba | Photo Stephen Collett
International Interdisciplinary Security of Land Tenure Conference 2024
Bringing minds together to tackle land tenure challenges head-on at the International Interdisciplinary Security of Land Tenure Conference 2024.

The 2024 International Interdisciplinary Security of Land Tenure (IISLT) Conference, recently hosted by the University of the Free State’s Faculty of Law, was a watershed moment in the academic exploration of land tenure security. Gathering scholars, researchers, and practitioners across diverse fields, the event provided a vital forum for tackling the multifaceted challenges surrounding this issue.

Exploring new frontiers

Dr Anthea-lee September-Van Huffel, conference organiser and Lecturer in the UFS Department of Private Law, highlighted the platform’s role in generating innovative solutions to address the intricate challenges of land tenure security. “These included heightened interdisciplinary collaborations to create holistic solutions supporting impoverished and underdeveloped rural communities, community impact projects involving multiple stakeholders to enhance socioeconomic well-being, and efforts to address structural inequalities within legal frameworks. Additionally, proposals were made for innovative profit-sharing schemes for disadvantaged land beneficiaries and the promotion of prior informed consent in land decision-making processes. We all have a beneficial inheritance to be enjoyed and shared through collective stewardship of the environment and its natural resources. It is the how that must be achieved through interdisciplinary discourse, collaboration, and innovative thinking,” she said.

The insights gained from interdisciplinary dialogue are expected to translate into tangible actions and policy recommendations in the field of land use and development. Three key research outputs were identified, which include the publication of a Special Journal Issue, the development of a thematic book, and the initiation of an interdisciplinary Community Impact Project in collaboration with the Public Affairs Research Institute and other collaborators.

Progress in perspective

Reflecting on South Africa's three decades of democracy, Prof Vasu Reddy, Deputy Vice-Chancellor for Research and Internationalisation, emphasised the necessity of interdisciplinary collaboration in rectifying historical injustices. “As South Africa commemorates 30 years of democracy, this conference holds particular significance. It’s an opportune moment to assess the trajectory of land tenure, acknowledging milestones achieved and persisting challenges. Given our nation’s history, marred by apartheid’s spatial injustices and structural inequalities, it’s imperative to continue seeking solutions to these entrenched issues,” Prof Reddy said.

Insights from keynote speakers

The plenary session featured illuminating keynote addresses by Vice-Chancellor Prof Wahab Egbewole of the University of Ilorin, Nigeria, and Prof Azubike Onuora-Oguno, Head of the Department of Jurisprudence and International Law at the same university.

Prof Egbewole delved into the intricate landscape of land tenure insecurity in Africa, stressing the urgency of safeguarding the rights of vulnerable communities. “This conference presented a compelling opportunity for my university to collaborate with the UFS on this critical aspect of human development,” remarked Prof Egbewole. “My address signified our institution's commitment to fostering and sustaining this collaboration.”

Prof Onuora-Oguno echoed this sentiment, expressing enthusiasm for the partnership with the UFS. “When the opportunity arose to partner with the University of Free State, I knew it was worth every academic energy. The involvement of other colleagues at the university in the research and academic collaboration was made very efficient by the efforts of colleagues from the UFS. It is a partnership we are excited to sustain and drive to the next level.”

Forward vision

The conference’s alignment with Vision 130 and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), particularly SDG 1 (eradicating poverty), SDG 8 (promoting sustained, inclusive, and sustainable economic growth), SDG 10 (reducing inequality), and SDG 11 (building sustainable communities), underscores its pivotal role in contributing to global endeavours towards sustainable development and social equity.

News Archive

We use cookies to make interactions with our websites and services easy and meaningful. To better understand how they are used, read more about the UFS cookie policy. By continuing to use this site you are giving us your consent to do this.