Land tenure reform and the balance of power in eastern and southern Africa | Land Portal | Securing Land Rights Through Open Data

Resource information

Date of publication: 
January 2000
Resource Language: 
ISBN / Resource ID: 
eldis:A28339

This paper examines the current wave of land tenure reform in eastern and southern Africa. It discusses how far tenure reform reflects a shift in powers over property from centre to periphery. A central question is whether tenure reform is designed to deliver to rural smallholders greater security of tenure and greater control over the regulation and transfer of these rights.Policy conclusions include:

whilst diverse in initial objective, and uneven in delivery, tenure reforms address a remarkably common set of concerns. Most embody significant shifts in the balance of power in state–people property relations
overall, tenure reform incorporates new recognition of local level land rights and significant transfer of powers over their disposition nearer to the ordinary landholder
some authority over land is being concentrated more at the centre, illustrating the essentially political nature of property relations and the reluctance of central governments to release powers.
however, intentionally or otherwise, governments are delivering to landholders new powers and rights in land which may enhance democratisation in this and related spheres
the manner in which customary, unregistered rights in land are being regarded in new tenure law represents the most crucial area of change and should yield an African character to property relations in the 21st century.

 

Authors and Publishers

Author(s), editor(s), contributor(s): 
L., W. Wily
Publisher(s): 

ODI Natural Resource Perspectives present accessible information on current development issues and are sent to a wide audience of policy makers, researchers and people working in the non-governmental sector. The series ran from 1994 to 2008.

John Farrington, Editor of the NRP series, writes "Unfortunately, Sida support to the series has come to an end, and though they are happy with the series, their funding priorities have changed and enquiries have established that the series can no longer be included in their portfolio.

Data provider

eldis (ELDIS)

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