Land reform in Kenya has been marked by several significant milestones in recent years.
In 2009, the Kenyan Parliament approved the National Land Policy (NLP), which mandates land restitution or resettlement for those who have been dispossessed and calls for reconsideration of constitutional protection for the property rights of those who obtained their land irregularly. The NLP was supported by the ratification of a new Constitution in 2010. The Kenyan constitution holds that all land belongs to the people of Kenya, classifies land as public, community or private, establishes a National Land Commission and allows non-citizens to hold land only on the basis of leasehold tenure. Further progress was marked by the passage of the Land Act, Land Registration Act, and the National Land Commission Act in 2012.
Despite legislative advances, secure and equitable access to and control over land for all Kenyans remains elusive. Current land-related issues in Kenya include: historical land inequities and land conflicts (which contribute to violence and displacement, including after the 2007 presidential elections); gender discrimination impeding the realization of women’s land rights; water scarcity; demand for forest resources; urban poverty and urbanization; and the management of rangelands needed by pastoralists.