Community/ tribal economic development and land rights in Africa: A survey

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Journal Of African Real Estate Research


Indigenous/tribal land issues are important in a post colonial environment especially with respect to land use control, economic development, tribal governance and the various attempts to recover land previously controlled by the tribe. Inside the broader tribal context of land ownership, demographics, tribal governance, and housing and economic development, this study also addresses some community land claims made against other tribes or outside entities. This research employed an online survey, with a non-random sample of 136 Afro-centric real estate scholars in 2010. After reporting background information on tribal demographics, respondents stated that 28% had no knowledge of the formal land registration process. A similar percentage could not get a mortgage loan on a house, in part due to the lack of developed mortgage markets. Despite a preponderance of tribal court systems, planning and development review controls were typically held by municipal rather than tribal governance entities. The economics of tribal locations showed only half have reasonable access to basic utility services and/or employment. Also, respondents indicated that tribal or householdlevel land claims were fairly rare: only 22% of respondents were aware of them and only 30% of claimants got all of their land back.