Namibia

Namibia

English

Namibia is the most arid country in sub-Saharan Africa, with approximately 63% of the total population in rural areas. Namibia is considered a middle income country, although it has the highest income disparity in the world and an unequal distribution of land and natural resources.

The 1991 Constitution states that all people have the right to own, acquire and dispose of property and the right of inheritance. Subsequently, more specific land related laws were passed, which contemplate freehold tiles, leaseholds, customary grants and certificate.  The communal Land Reform Act 5 defines the power of traditional authorities over communal land and it sets the creation of Land Boards for the control of the allocation of land by traditional authorities. The Traditional Authorities Act 25 recognizes the traditional authorities as legal entities and establishes their powers and duties. Customary law and the rights of indigenous people are mostly formally recognized, and in many rural areas traditional leasers still decide the allocation and use of land.

In recent years, the number of land disputes in Namibia increased due to the loss of power of traditional authorities that made it easier for outsiders to have access to land without the permission of the people. The formal mechanism for dispute resolution is generally assigned to the formal court system. However, people in communal areas usually refer to the traditional authorities and also to NGOs as means of dispute resolution.

Source of the narrative

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Indicators

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Mapping

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Infographics

Land Governance Assessment Framework (LGAF)

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  • 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. The indicators of this dataset assess national laws against Section 16 of the VGGT standards on expropriation, compensation, and resettlement.

Each indicator relates to a principle established in the VGGTs.

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.

Media

Latest News

Namibia: Proposed law bans foreign landlords

By: Shinovene Immanuel
Date: November 14th 2016
Source: The Namibian

FOREIGN nationals will no longer be allowed to own agricultural, commercial and communal land if a proposed law tabled last week by lands minister Utoni Nujoma is passed in parliament.

Details on how government plans to ban foreign land ownership are contained in the Land Bill of 2016 tabled by Nujoma in the National Assembly last Thursday. 

Library

Displaying 1 - 6 of 74

Towards Customary Legal Empowerment in Namibia: Enhancing gender equality in customary justice systems

"In Namibia, national authorities have made various interventions aimed at enhancing the functioning of customary law and traditional leadership. These efforts include both the creation of institutional linkages as well as community-based activities. One issue has been the position of women under customary law, and especially the fact that widows often have no rights to their deceased husbands’ lands.

Resource information

December 2011

Report on the proceedings of the National Conference on Women’s Land and Property Rights and Livelihood in Namibia, with a Special Focus on HIV/AIDS

Full citation: Namibia Ministry of Gender Equality and Child Welfare & FAO, "Report on the proceedings of the National Conference on Women’s Land and Property Rights and Livelihood in Namibia, with a Special Focus on HIV/AIDS," (July 2005).

Resource information

December 2005