Information for G00164
Land in Africa: Market asset, or Secure Livelihood?
Document begins: Land in Africa: Market asset, or Secure Livelihood? 8-9 November, London Working Group 1: Formalising and securing land rights: diverse approaches from Africa. The case from Northern Ethiopia 1. Background on land rights in Ethiopia Currently land law and family law are decentralised to the State level. Farmers today access land mainly through state mandated peasant associations. Access is conditional on proof of permanent physical presence, ability to farm continuously and meet community obligations as agreed through local enforceable legislation. Farmers have long term rights to use the land and these rights are transferable by inheritance with a provision not to sub-divide plots below a certain minimum hectarage thereby safeguarding against fragmentation. The Ethiopian constitution does not allow the sale of agricultural land or use as collateral for obtaining bank loans. Some regions have promulgated land administration laws allowing farmers to lease1 their land to prospective users but the main rental transaction and dealings are operated by the parties concerned as far as the contract is registered and witnessed by the local authorities at the peasant association level. There are also emerging market and non-market mediated transactions which are becoming important. These are in the form of sharecropping and ...