Redistributive land reform in southern Africa is reviewed against the background of the recent land crisis in the region. The dilemmas created for governments and donors are described, as are attempts to grapple with them. Answers are sought to four questions: What has been the experience with land redistribution in the region over the last decade or so? What has been the impact on people's livelihoods? How are redistribution programmes expected to develop in future? What might be the role of donors in the process?Policy conclusionsin the design of policy instruments for land redistribution (e.g. form of market intervention, conditions of grant provision) it is important to recognise that redressing past injustices and promoting rural development are different policy objectives. Furthermore, it is important to differentiate between policy instruments intended to diversify ownership in the agricultural sector towards black commercial farmers and instruments to provide new opportunities for the rural poormarket-assisted land reform and expropriation by due legal process have been slow, but principally because of inadequate administrative and technical capacity available to governmentsthe impact of land redistribution on intended beneficiaries has generally been positive although the numbers benefiting remain smallunequal racial ownership of land has the potential for creating further agrarian (and wider economic) crises in the region unless addressed by accelerated progress in land redistributiondemands upon donors are likely to increase: the main purpose of support should be to enhance administrative and technical capacity[Author]
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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.
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