Difficulty in the Implementation of Land Reform in Africa: The Case of Tanzania

Saturday, July 19, 2014: 2:30 PM
Room: 302
Oral Presentation
Hiromi AMEMIYA , Department of Business Law, Faculty of Economics, University of Toyama, Toyama-ken, Japan
Property rights in Tanzania –former socialism country in East Africa having diversity of ethnic groups including of nomadic hunter-gatherer tribe– provided in the “Village Land Act, 1999” differ from modern property rights in Western law particularly with regard to the “customary right of occupancy” and differ from limited rights, known as the “commons” of community members in villages.

  The World Bank’s land policy has considerably affected Tanzania and other African countries. An overview of the World Bank’s land policy, a shift from the neo-classical theory of new development economics to the recognition of an informal system is presented in this article.

  Although there has been strong pressure by the World Bank and other donors to implement the Village Land Act since the enactment of the Act, practical enforcement has made little progress in Tanzania. This article examines two projects for the promotion of titling in villages. In general, village authorities and the land sector are largely being left behind by the Local Government Reform Programme and all levels of government, except the central government, which is eager to create a progressive agenda on land reform. For example, many pilot projects for titling have been conducted and have become successful; however, these projects have never been spread to the villages. From this conclusion I could mention that Decentralization on land titling has not led to the enforcement of the Village Land Act.

  Practical enforcement has been little seen as mentioned however established “Village Land Act, 1999” has been very unique and ideal for current stage of Tanzania. I would like to introduce this Tanzanian Village Land Act that is based on informal customary law and indicate to be ideal for current stage for other post socialist countries including Africa.