Land registration and titling in Africa are often advocated as a pro-poor legal empowerment strategy. Advocates have put forth different visions of the substantive goals this is to achieve. Some see registration and titling as a way to protect smallholdersrights of access to land. Others frame land registration as part of community-protection or ethno-justice agendas. Still others see legal empowerment in the market-enhancing commodification of property rights. This paper contrasts these different visions;showing that each entails tensions and trade-offs. The analysis helps explain why land law reforms aiming at legal empowerment may be controversial or divisive in African countries.
Authors and Publishers
Jeff Bamenjo;Sandrine Kouba & Brendan Schwartz
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Mokoro is pleased to host the ’Land Rights in Africa’ site as a contribution to the land rights dialogue and related debates. This website was created in January 2000 by Robin Palmer, and was originally housed by Oxfam GB, where Robin worked as a Land Rights Adviser. A library of resources on land rights in Africa – with a particular focus on women’s land rights and on the impact of land grabbing in Africa – the portal has been well received by practitioners, researchers and policy makers, and has grown considerably over the years.