Securing Land Rights in sub-Saharan Africa: A critical examination of new approaches to tenure reform in practice

Project: ResearchInterdisciplinary research

Research areas and keywords

UKÄ subject classification

  • Social Sciences


  • Africa, Land tenure, Customary property rights


Provision of tenure security in sub-Saharan Africa has been a key development challenge since colonial times. Today, however, only a small minority of the population have statutory land rights 90% of Africa’s rural land is undocumented and access is commonly granted via divers community based, customary, tenure arrangements (Byamugisha 2013). During the past decade the challenge of tenure insecurity has become more pressing in sub-Saharan Africa because of increased competition for land as a result of steeply rising global demand for food, biofuels, forest products and minerals.<br />In the late 1990s Tanzania and Mozambique both passed new land laws as the first step in national processes of land tenure reform which decentralized responsibilities for land administration. These reforms continue to receive praise academics and practitioners as exemplary models for land tenure reform in sub-Saharan Africa (Hoekama 2012; McAuslan 2013; Tanner & Bicchieri 2014).<br />
Short titleLand rights
Effective start/end date2016/01/012018/12/31