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Some Outstanding Issues in the Debate on External Promotion of Land Privatisation

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Since the early 1990s, the dominant consensus in the debate on land rights reform in sub-Saharan Africa has been that external interventions to privatise land rights are usually inappropriate and likely to remain so. This article suggests that two elements in the debate – the scope for varying adjudication criteria, procedures and support systems in order to enhance equity, and the influence of a region's agro-ecological and socioeconomic characteristics on the impacts of tenure change – merit further attention. The article urges a shift towards a more pragmatic approach, sensitive to the diversity of both physical and socio-economic conditions within which tenure systems operate. Illustrative evidence is drawn from a relatively low-potential farming region in eastern Kenya.
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: School of Social Sciences and Cultural Studies, University of Sussex, Brighton, BN1 9SJ.

Publication date: March 1, 2005

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