When Tanzania gained independence in 1961, President Julius Nyerere used the political ideology of Ujamaa ‘African Socialism’ as the basis for transferring customary land right to elected village councils and encouraging collective cultivation. Today, 75% of the country’s population lives in rural areas, with agriculture accounting for 45% of the total GDP.

The Constitution of Tanzania recognizes the right to own property for every person and the right to protect this property in accordance with the law. The Land Act and Village Act of 1999 set the principles for the classification of land and governance of village land. The 1999 Land Act facilitates the granting of mortgages to secure loans, while making is easier for lenders to take possession or sell mortgaged land. In Zanzibar, the Land tenure Act of 1992 established that government can give the rights to occupation that are perpetual and transferable.

Land disputes in Tanzania are mostly due to the uncertainty of tenure caused by the occupation of lands that had been abandoned during the ‘villagization’ program and the occupation of these same lands. Therefore, conflicts are generally between people that occupied land and people returning to the land they historically held. Competition for natural resources, land use, village boundaries and the allocation of common resources, and access to development plans that deny access to land and resources for local communities are all sources of conflict. In Tanzania, both formal and informal tribunals are empowered to resolve land disputes according to Tanzania’s formal law. 

Source of the narrative

Disclaimer: The data displayed on the Land Portal is provided by third parts 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.


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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. 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.


Latest News

Tanzania Adopts New Policy To Curb Land Grabbing – Analysis

By: Kizito Makoye Shigela

Date: 19 December 2016

Source: Eurasia Review

Tanzania has adopted a new national land policy which, among others, lowers the ceiling under which foreign investors can lease land from the current 99 to 33 years.

The new policy comes barely months after the East African nation embarked on a campaign to seize “idle” land and deter “rogue investors” from using it for speculative purposes.

The Ancient Hunter-Gatherer Tribe That’s Protecting Traditional Forests With the Help of Carbon Trading

By: Sophie Tremblay & Willy Lowry

Date: 4 January 2017

Source: Pacific Standard

Yaeda Valley in Tanzania is home to the Hadzabe, one of the last remaining hunter-gatherer tribes in the world, and they are using carbon trading to save their forests.

YAEDA VALLEY, TANZANIA — “Carbon,” says Mzee Sinze while sitting in the shade of an ancient, giant Baobab tree. “Carbon is very important to us Hadzabe.”

Tanzania: Councils Directed to Set Funds for 'Own Land Use'

Thel government has ordered district councils countrywide to set aside some funds each fiscal year in order to finance "land use plans' resolutions" under them, especially in villages which are rapidly becoming urban areas. The Minister for Land, Housing and Human Settlement Development, Mr William Lukuvi, said the move would keep off sporadic land conflicts rocking the country.

Latest Blog

This map draws on Chinese infrastructure project location data from AidData and forest cover loss data from Hansen et al. (2013).

AIDDATA Published Geocoded Dataset on Chinese Financing in Ecological Hotspots

Conservationists and environmental advocacy groups have warned that the nature, pace and scale of Chinese-funded infrastructure projects in the developing world may lead to unintended environmental consequences, especially in so-called “ecological hotspots.” Until now, there has been no systematic, large-scale evidence that confronts the causal claim that Chinese-funded development projects have

The Sugar Rush in South Africa - land grabs, land rights, human rights, agriculture

The sugar rush in southern Africa

By Ian Scoones, Professorial Fellow at the Institute of Development Studies, and the Director of the ESRC STEPS Centre at Sussex

The expansion of sugar production in southern Africa has been dramatic. From its early beginnings in Natal to the huge commercial estates across the region established during the colonial era, new investments are being planned. The land rush in southern Africa is often a sugar rush, with the ‘white gold’ promising riches to governments, local elites and large corporates alike.

Latest Events

Sustainable Development Goals: a time for innovations and investment in land administration and management

Thursday, August 10, 2017 to Friday, August 11, 2017


Julius Nyerere Convention Centre Dar es Salaam

The Institution of Surveyors of Tanzania (IST), The Tanzanian Institution of Valuers & Estate Surveyors (TIVEA)

in collaboration with The Commonwealth Association of Surveying & Land Economy (CASLE)

invite you to:- ‘An International Conference’



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Women, Wives and Land Rights in Africa: Situating Gender Beyond the Household in the Debate Over Land Policy and Changing Tenure Systems

Abstract: The debate over land reform in Africa is embedded in evolutionary models, in which it is assumed landholding systems are evolving into individualized systems of ownership with greater market integration. This process is seen to be occurring even without state protection of private land rights, through titling. Gender as an analytical category is excluded in evolutionary models. Women are accommodated only in their dependent position as the wives of landholders in idealized “households”.

Resource information

December 2002