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Maasai Rights in Ngorongoro, Tanzania

I G Shivji, W B Kapinga

Book/Report, 124 pages

The Ngorongoro Crater in the north-east of Tanzania is considered the eighth wonder of the world and a great tourist attraction. It is also a home to some 40,000 Maasai pastoralists, who have been struggling for their human and civil rights since 1958 when they were resettled in the Conservation Area by the colonial government. This book is a pioneering examination of the rights of the Maasai inhabitants and other residents in the Ngorongoro Conservation Area (NCA) as they relate to land, freedom of association and movement within the NCA. More particularly, the book clarifies the restricted rights of the residents to property, to the means of securing a livelihood and participation in decisions which affect their lives. The study also provides an evaluation of the legal powers and administrative practices of the NCA Authority set against the principles of the rule of law and democratic governance. The authors argue that limitations placed on the Maasai by the NCAA can be justified only if there is prior consultation and participation of the Maasai residents in the relevant decision-making processes. The authors recommend an innovative reorganisation of the NCA Authority to manage the Conservation Area. The centrepiece of this would be provision for proper representation and participation of the Maasai and other residents in deciding on the best means to conserve and develop this important natural resource.

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