Located in Eastern Africa, north of Kenya, Ethiopia is an ecologically diverse country that is home to nine ethnically based states and two self-governing administrations. The economy is largely based on agriculture, with over 80% of the population engaged in the production of crops and livestock. With a growing population of over 80 million people, Ethiopia is also the most populous landlocked country in the world. On average farm sizes are small, with more than 85% of farming households on less than 2 hectares.

Historically, land governance in Ethiopia has been marked by significant control by the state over the allocation and use of land, as well as different approaches to the distribution of rural land implemented under various regimes. This has led to a lack of access to land and to insecure land tenure for the rural poor, particularly peasants, pastoralists, women and others who depend on land and other natural resources for their livelihoods.

Land certification initiatives have been expanded to millions of households nationwide generally with positive results, though critics call for greater measures to enhance tenure security and stimulate greater economic investments at the local level.

Some of the main land-related issues in the country include: improving land tenure security for smallholder farmers, pastoralists and women; coordination and harmonization among different institutions involved in land governance; greater transparency related to land leases to foreign investors.

Disclaimer: The data displayed on the Land Portal is provided by third parties indicated as the data source or as the data provider. The Land Portal team is constantly working to ensure the highest possible standard of data quality and accuracy, yet the data is by its nature approximate and will contain some inaccuracies. The data may contain errors introduced by the data provider(s) and/or by the Land Portal team. In addition, this page allows you to compare data from different sources, but not all indicators are necessarily statistically comparable. The Land Portal Foundation (A) expressly disclaims the accuracy, adequacy, or completeness of any data and (B) shall not be liable for any errors, omissions or other defects in, delays or interruptions in such data, or for any actions taken in reliance thereon. Neither the Land Portal Foundation nor any of its data providers will be liable for any damages relating to your use of the data provided herein.


Indicators Year Value Unit Dataset Source Remove

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Land Governance Assessment Framework (LGAF)

Please, select year and panels to show the info.

    • Very Good Practice
    • Good Practice
    • Weak Practice
    • Very Weak Practice
    • Missing Value

    Voluntary Guidelines on the Responsible Governance of Tenure

    Legend: National laws adoption of the VGGT principle
    • Fully adopt
    • Partially adopt
    • Not adopted
    • Missing Value

    Note: The Voluntary Guidelines on the Responsible Governance of Tenure of Land, Fisheries, and Forests in the Context of National Food Security (The VGGTs) were endorsed by the Committee on World Food Security in 2012.

    The "VGGT indicators" dataset has been created by Nicholas K. Tagliarino, PhD Candidate at the University of Groningen, with support from Daniel Babare and Myat Noe (LLB Students, University of Groningen). The indicators assess national laws in 50 countries across Asia, Africa, and Latin America against international standards on expropriation, compensation, and resettlement as established by Section 16 of the VGGTs.

    Each indicator relates to a principle established in section 16 of the VGGTs. Hold the mouse against the small "i" button above for a more detailed explanation of the indicator.

    Answering the questions posed by these indicators entails analyzing a broad range of national-level laws, including national constitutions, land acquisition acts, land acts, community land acts, agricultural land acts, land use regulations, and some court decisions.


    Latest News

    3 May 2017


    ADDIS ABABA (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - Aworar Meka had been living and working at the Reppi rubbish dump in Addis Ababa for only one month when tragedy struck.

    A giant landslide at the 50-year-old dump, the Ethiopian capital's only landfill site, hit his neighborhood on March 11, destroying dozens of homes and killing at least 115 people.

    Meka was one of the lucky ones; the 28-year-old, his wife, and young son survived. Their home, a makeshift tent made of tarpaulin and corrugated iron, narrowly avoided being crushed.

    31 March 2017


    its4land is an EU-financed project to assist Kenya, Rwanda and Ethiopia in mapping land tenure more quickly, cheaply and transparently. It will end in three years’ time; right now, the Africans and Europeans are in the phase of needs assessment. The focus is not on technical requirements, but on operational priorities and managerial context. The first results indicate that low-cost geospatial technologies will be helpful, not least because they also benefit priorities other than improving cadastral services.


    By Desta Gebrehiwot
    Date: November 15th 2016
    Source: / The Ethiopian Herald

    The United Nations International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) stressed the need for rehabilitating dry lands in order to cope with the negative impacts of climate change, land degradation and drought.


    By: Justus Wanzala
    Date: November 11th 2016
    Source: / Ethiopian Herald


    Land degradation already affects millions of people, bringing biodiversity loss, reduced availability of clean water, food insecurity and greater vulnerability to the harsh impacts of climate change.

    Latest Events

    14 November 2017 to 17 November 2017


    Addis Ababa
    The Africa We Want: Achieving socioeconomic transformation through inclusive and equitable access to land by the youth
    Addis Ababa, Ethiopia



    Displaying 1 - 6 of 1102
    Peer-reviewed publication
    March 2017

    We are in the Anthropocene. For millennia, human actions have been shaping the world to the degree that they are inscribed in the geological and ecological record. Recently, this has been occurring with increasing speed and influence. This means we need to be asking integrative and effective questions about the world and how we relate to and in it. Human niche construction has broad and deep effects not just on landscapes and environments, but on the myriad of other beings sharing space with us.

    March 2017

    Dead Donkeys Fear No Hyenas - a documentary thriller about land grabbing and the global rush for farmland - the new green gold! 

    Journal Articles & Books
    December 2016

    Understanding changes in soil quality resulting from land use and land management changes is important to design sustainable land management plans or interventions. This study evaluated the influence of land use and land cover (LULC) on key soil quality indicators (SQIs) within a small watershed (Jedeb) in the Blue Nile Basin of Ethiopia. Factor analysis based on principal component analysis (PCA) was used to determine different SQIs.

    Journal Articles & Books
    December 2016

    Soil quality (SQ) assessment from farmers' point of view can be used as a primary indicator for planning sustainable agriculture. Despite this fact, limited information is documented with regard to SQ indicators, for example weed species, crop types and management practices from farmers' knowledge perspectives.

    Journal Articles & Books
    December 2016

    Sediments deposited by (paleo) flash floods can hold valuable information on processes of environmental change, land degradation or desertification. In order to assess the suitability of flash flood deposits as proxies for land degradation, we monitored a representative gully segment in North Ethiopia (Ashenge catchment), investigated a sequence of alluvial debris fans downstream of this segment and dated a neighbouring subaquatic debris fan using short‐lived ²¹⁰Pb isotope counting.

    Journal Articles & Books
    December 2016

    This study analyzes urban expansion and the peri-urban land tenure security situation in Amhara National Regional State of Ethiopia, taking Bahir Dar and Debre Markos as case studies. To detect the extent of urban expansion, data from Landsat satellite images were analyzed using ERDAS IMAGINE, ENVI, and ArcGIS segmentation, classification, and mapping tools. The land tenure security situation was assessed through interviews with local farmers.