Ebook: Evaluation of Innovative Land Tools in Sub-Saharan Africa
Sub-Saharan Africa is urbanizing rapidly, but most countries lack appropriate tools to manage their urban growth. This creates both risks and opportunities for prospective land holders, resulting in a tangle of insecure land rights and claims under multiple tenure systems. Recently, innovative land tools have been proposed and implemented to formalize land tenure. It is envisaged that tenure security for land holders will increase and in turn contribute to poverty reduction.
This study evaluates such tools in three peri-urban areas in Lusaka (Zambia), Oshakati (Namibia) and Gaborone (Botswana), with a focus on the perspective of the land holders. The author concludes that the tools are to some extent pro-poor, and makes recommendations for further improvements. These innovative land tools are also considered a necessary addition to conventional and administration tools.
This study makes valuable reading for academics, policy makers and practitioners within the land administration domain and related disciplines.
The seeds for this work must have been sown by Prof. J.L.G. Henssen when he was lecturing on ‘Cadastres in developing countries’ during the 1980s at Delft University of Technology. I was intrigued by his exotic tales couched in unknown concepts of land ownership in far-away countries. After graduating, my first assignment was at the University of Zambia, where I learned more about these concepts. Having enjoyed working abroad, I was lucky to get a position at ITC that combined the best of two worlds: living in my home country and working in an international environment. Life suddenly changed; my wife, whom I had met in Zambia, passed away when our first-born was only three months old. The following years were not easy for us, although we were blessed that our links with Africa proved strong. I was very happy to support Dr. Augustine Mulolwa's PhD defense, acting as his ‘paranimf’ in 2002. At that time I could not envisage that I would follow a similar track. That all changed when visiting Windhoek in 2005 and Dr. Klaus Deininger's standard work on ‘Land policies for poverty reduction’ caught my eye. Reading the book, I learned that the challenges in land administration that had been pointed out by Prof. Henssen proved to be persistent. This realization was the fertilizer that allowed the seeds to germinate. The idea of starting some kind of research on this topic was born, and Africa would be the area of interest. I was very happy that my ideas were enthusiastically received by Prof. Jitske de Jong and Prof. Jaap Zevenbergen, who encouraged me to write a proposal and agreed to be my PhD advisors (‘promotors’). I would like to express my profound gratitude to both of them for having guided me all the way through. Besides their academic guidance and international experience, I have appreciated the patience they have shown me. Secondly, I am very grateful to the OTB Research Institute for the Built Environment, which offered me a part-time research position and financially supported this research project. I would also like to thank the members of the Doctoral Examination Committee: Prof. Faustin Kalabamu, Prof. Robert Home, Prof. Hanri Mostert, Prof. Marja Elsinga and Dr. Chrit Lemmen. I feel honored to have a Committee of such high academic standing.
During my research, despite being a part-time employee and somehow a solitary researcher, I enjoyed the support of my colleagues at OTB. I am grateful for the discussions about research methodology and legal issues, especially with Herman de Wolff, Prof. Hendrik Ploeger and Dr. Henk Koerten. Last but not least, I would like to thank Dr. Reinout Kleinhans, who helped me take one of the last hurdles. The secretariat, especially Monica Boen and Joyce Koopman, is highly appreciated for making travel arrangements and giving administrative support, and Dirk Dubbeling and Itziar Lasa are thanked for doing the editing and lay-out. The correction work by Nancy Smyth van Weesep and the cover design by Yvon Lievense are appreciated as well. Meanwhile, in the course of the research project, I met a few people who inspired me and helped me in various ways: Dr. Bob Hendriks, Elco van Noort, Dr. Marco Lankhorst, and colleagues from Kadaster International, especially Prof. Paul van der Molen, Co Meijer and Dr. Chrit Lemmen, whom I met at several international conferences.
Regarding the fieldwork, I am indebted to all of the residents of the settlements that have been studied and thank them for making their time available to discuss land issues with me. I wish them well in their endeavor to improve their livelihoods. Of course, it is my hope that this study will contribute to that effort in one way or another.
In addition to all of the residents I interviewed, I am indebted to several professionals and institutions. With respect to Namibia, I wish to thank my colleagues at the Polytechnic of Namibia, especially Lameck Mwewa, Joe Lewis, John Kangwa, Carl-Thom Bayer and Jane Gold; Akiser Pomuti of the University of Namibia; several officials of the City of Windhoek; Pius Shikongo and Aemon of Oshakati Town Council; colleagues of the Ministry of Lands and Resettlement (MLR); and representatives of the Namibia Housing Action Group (NHAG) and the Shack Dwellers Federation of Namibia (SDFN), especially Dr. Anna Muller and Edith Mbanga. Thanks are also extended to Urban Dynamics, which provided access to the Oshakati town plans. I was also very lucky to find Richard Witmer and Marcel Meijs, working for the MLR, in Windhoek and Oshakati respectively. They not only provided professional support but also contributed to a pleasant stay in Namibia. Søren Fauerholm Christensen, the ‘founder’ of the FLTS, provided me with additional information. I also appreciated the help of Simon Shinguto during my first trip and of Ndeshihafela Nekundi for interpreting the interviews in Oshakati.
Regarding Zambia, I wish to thank my colleagues at the Department of Geomatics at UNZA: Dr. Augustine Mulolwa, Dr. Peter Nsombo, Alick Mwanza, and Robert Zimba; Dr. Margaret Munalula from the School of Law at UNZA; colleagues at the Lands and Survey Department of the Ministry of Lands, especially Danny Mubanga and Raynold Moyo; Nsama Nsemiwe of the Zambia Land Alliance; various officials of the Lusaka City Council, especially Barnabas Zulu for introducing me to Chazanga; the Area Councillor of Chazanga, John Njebe, and members of the Ward Development Committee of Chazanga; Sören Lundqvist and Benita Nordin of Swedesurvey; Dr. Patrick Matibini, Stefan Svenson, Dr. Norihisa Shima; and finally Mwaka Nankamba for interpreting the interviews.
In Botswana, it was a pleasure to work with Prof. Faustin Kalabamu, Dr. Chadzimula Molebatsi, Dr. Boipuso Nkwae, and Emmanuel Tembo of the University of Botswana. I also would like to thank Khawulani Ace Bachobeli and Bareng Malatsi and their colleagues from the Ministry of Lands for supporting this study and providing access to resource persons. Dr. Kirstin Andreasson and Åke Finnstrom from Swedesurvey shared a lot of information with me on tribal land administration in Botswana. The support of various officials of Tlokweng and Kweneng Land Boards, and Mogoditshane sub Land Board is appreciated as well. Lastly, Ratanang Rabalago was of vital importance with respect to interpreting during fieldwork.
Because this project was executed on a part-time basis, I wish to thank my employer Rijkswaterstaat for the assistance offered. Both management and colleagues have been very flexible in dealing with my absence during my conference trips, fieldwork periods and sabbatical leave. A special word of thanks goes to Arjan Levinga for discussing issues on policy evaluation and last but not least to Dr. Henk Cox for providing the extra support needed at the end. My research has been inspired by my life-long but distant friends: Augustine Mulolwa, Phoebe Bwembya, Luke Mumba, and Lameck Mwewa. Although our contact has been irregular, I feel they have been with me spiritually all the way through. I also wish to thank friends nearby for their continuous support: Ton and Lucia, Pieter and Annemarie, Arie and Helma, Wilma and Ron, Sytse, Edward and Heidi, Laurens and Deborah and Sjoerd. Hans and Lot and Carianne have been of vital importance, having looked after my daughter when I was abroad. Without their support, I would not have been able to complete this work. Very close to me has been Ton, my biggest supporter throughout the entire time – words can hardly express my gratitude.
It is rather sad that my father, being a retired land surveyor, cannot witness the defense of this study. He was always very supportive and enthusiastic, even during his illness when he still pushed me to present my findings at the World Bank Land and Poverty Conference in 2012. Sadly, he passed away one day after my return. I wish to thank my mother, Frans and Dithe, Mirjam and Herman, Jos and Marianne and Johan and Danielle for their support, both moral and practical. My last word of thanks goes to the most precious person in my life, my daughter Denise Ndanji. I should not only thank you but also apologize for being absent, both in mind and body, at some points in time. It is a real pleasure to dedicate this dissertation to you.