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Arbitrary dispossession or expropriation is often considered one of the greatest threats to land tenure security. We discuss insights gained from a novel cross-country dataset which records legal safeguards on protecting land rights from arbitrary expropriation in 80 countries around the world. Our study provides a comparative assessment on laws and regulations, aiming to spark a constructive debate among policy-makers on how to facilitate legal safeguards and tenure security.
Acquiring land compulsorily at any cost? Policy recommendations for improved resettlement outcomes.
Ellen De Keyser1, Eddie Nsamba-Gayiiya2
1Ellen De Keyser, Belgium; 2Consultant Surveyors and Planners, Uganda
Large-scale land acquisitions forcefully displace thousands of people to make way for renewable energy projects, mines, agribusinesses, roads and other infrastructure, and changes in land use among other purposes often deemed to be in the public interest or for public use. In order to obtain land for such purposes expropriation is often applied. Research demonstrates that people displaced by such projects often face significant challenges in re-establishing their living standards and livelihood strategies, leading to impoverishment, food insecurity, social disarticulation, among other impacts. Based on a review of resettlement outcomes of projects in Africa this paper argues that, in line with the VGGTs, a comprehensive, transparent and participatory expropriation procedure with checks and balances built in is a prerequisite for the effectiveness of compensation, reforms of the policy and legal frameworks governing land acquisition and resettlement and improved resettlement outcomes. This paper outlines the key elements of such procedure.
Assessment of community involvement and compensation money utilization in Ethiopia: Case studies from Bahir Dar and DebreMarkosPeri-urban areas
Sayeh Agegnehu1, Reinfried Mansberger2
1Debre Markos University, Ethiopia; 2University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences (BOKU), Austria
This article focuses on the involvement of the community during expropriation and the use of compensation money of expropriated farmers in Ethiopia, based on two case studies outlined in the peri-urban areas of Bahir Dar and DebreMarkos. The data are collected by using survey research methods and analysed by means of descriptive statistics. The studies gave evidence about the high land tenure transformation in the peri-urban areas during the last decades. Though the majority of the expropriated farmers got compensation payments, most farmers did not use the received money for alternative income generating businesses. The payment of compensation has not to be the end in an expropriation process. Technical and administrative support is detrimental for the proper utilization of the compensation money. Besides, communities affected with expropriation should effectively participate in the processes of expropriation and compensation to mitigate externalities of the process.
The question of compensation in the large-scale land acquisition and redistribution in Southern Africa
Justice Mayor Wadyajena
Parliament of Zimbabwe, Zimbabwe
The single most consequential political act of Zimbabwe’s post-independence history was the wholesale re-distribution of land of the late nineties under the Fast Track Land Reform Programme. Though mythically perceived as an exercise that solely dispossessed the settler minority only to enhance the concentration of ownership amongst the indigenous elite, data has proven broad-base benefit. Many smallholders in the post-land reform resettlement areas have thrived and concrete reconfiguration of the agrarian economy has been achieved. The global political fallout that ensued as was predominantly related to the question of compensation for dispossessed farmers. With a new administration determined to reclaim relations with the global community, the question of compensation to close to 4,000 farmer arises again, and in the face of a challenging economic environment. With South Africa and Namibia undertaking similarly problematic, but equally necessary processes, we must ask what lessons can be learnt from the Zimbabwe experience.