Uganda is landlocked country located in East Africa with an area of 236,040 square kilometers (146,675 square miles) and a total land boundary of 2,698 kilometers (1,676 miles). It is a natural resource dependent country, and agriculture is dominated by small-holder farmers. Therefore, land is an essential asset for the population and national development. Consequently, government has turned its attention to law and policy reforms that address land-governance challenges, some of which emerge from historical injustices and the colonial legacy.

Post-colonial attempts to address colonial land injustices were futile in several respects. A Land Acqusition Act was passed in 1965, but is now widely considered among courts and others to be inconsistent with the 1995 Constitution. Post-1998 land reforms have not solved the problem of absentee landlords in the lost counties: conflicts between title-holding landlords and bon fide occupants are pervasive. Recent developments have added to the complexity of managing customary lands despite attempts to register such lands and issue Certificates of Customary Ownership (CCOs).

Most political solutions to address land issues, such as legal dualism in the property system, multiplicity of tenure regimes, and overlapping rights and interests in land, have been insufficient [1]. In Uganda, there are still many evictions, arbitrary land dispossessions, disputes and conflicts across national boundaries, as well as land-related disputes at the household level. These tensions have pervaded ethnic groups and inspired overwhelming uncertainties in land rights. Many land governance challenges have resulted in tenure insecurity. Some communities have even lost their ancestral land rights to infrastructural projects, large scale agricultural investments, and wildlife conservation. 

In contemporary Uganda, the rapid population growth rate, coupled with steady economic growth over the last two decades, has increased demand for land and ignited the debate around land governance [2]. Land acquisition for development projects by governments, private investors and land speculators has been a critical source of tensions and conflicts in many parts of the country. Uganda has also expanded the development of petroleum and minerals sectors, all of which necessitate land acquisitions for infrastructure and industry installations. Land evictions, violent land conflicts, and dispossessions of marginalised groups and communities are common.


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.


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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

    28 August 2017

    Wednesday, 23rd August, 2017, Kampala, Uganda - The Government of Uganda and United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) have today signed a financing agreement for the Green Climate Fund (GCF) project to restore degraded wetlands, improve ecosystems, strengthen climate information and early warning systems.

    Photo by © ILC/Jason Taylor
    28 August 2017

    Post-colonial land reforms in Uganda leave many issues unresolved, while evictions, land conflicts and dispossession remain common 

    kenya wetlands
    7 August 2017

    NAIROBI, KENYA: In 2014, for the first time, Sio-Siteko trans-boundary wetland was selected as venue for commemorating World Wetlands Day in Kenya.

    The event successfully raised the conservation profile among stakeholders at all levels of the value and the need to conserve the steadily degrading wetland. Speeches were read, and grand plans elaborated on how the wetland would be restored.

    The most memorable was a statement by Busia County Government that read in part, “the county was cognisant of the opportunities lost through wetland degeneration and had embarked on a long-term strategy to promote their protection. It was observed that, among others, the strategy would achieve sustainable management of fisheries in Sio-Siteko wetland to increase food production, alleviate poverty, mitigate adverse effects of water pollution, reduce water borne diseases, resolve conflicts and create a harmonious environment that promotes cross border trade. To this moment, the local community is patiently waiting for the strategy to be implemented.

    uganda agriculture
    7 August 2017

    After a technical break, the seven-member Land Inquiry 2017 Commission headed by Lady Justice Catherine Bamugemereire handled two big cases from July 24 –28.

    Latest Blog

    Latin America and the Caribbean

    The recent World Bank Conference on Land and Poverty, held this past March in Washington D.C., provided a unique opportunity to reflect on collective land tenure reforms not only from a research point of view, but also from that of governments.



    Displaying 1 - 6 of 966
    The participation of urban displaced populations in (in)formal markets: contrasting experiences in Kampala, Uganda cover image
    Journal Articles & Books
    Reports & Research
    August 2017

    An estimated 60 per cent of the world’s 17 million refugees currently reside in cities, where they often lack access to financial assistance and legal protection.(1) In their absence, displaced populations depend on participation in formal and, more frequently, informal markets for livelihood generation.

    Manuals & Guidelines
    July 2017
    South Africa

    A primer to guide rural communities in framing and devising collective action and engagement strategies to strengthen their tenure of land, fisheries and forests is released today.

    Access to farmland gets quick and dirty in sub-Saharan Africa cover image
    Policy Papers & Briefs
    January 2017
    Sub-Saharan Africa

    Who can access and use the land? The answer to this age-old question is changing fast in many parts of rural Africa. Land that used to be allocated within the community by chiefs is now increasingly changing hands in more diverse ways. The wealthy and well-connected within the community or from further afield are frequently able to override local statutory or customary land rights, dispossessing the previous occupants or forcing them to divide their already small plots of land.

    Journal Articles & Books
    December 2016

    Wetlands provide vital ecosystem services such as water purification, flood control, and climate moderation among others, which enhance environmental quality, promote public health, and contribute to risk reduction. The biggest threat to wetlands is posed by human activities which transform wetlands, often for short-term consumptive benefits. This paper aimed to classify and map recent land cover and provide a multi-temporal analysis of changes from 2002 to 2014 in the Nakivubo wetland through which wastewater from Kampala city drains to Lake Victoria in Uganda.