The Uganda National Land Policy (NLP) Implementation Action Plan is a deliberate resolution by the Government of Uganda to address major challenges that have hindered the implementation of land reforms, thereby impeding the optimal utilisation of land for socio-economic development and transformation. Although successive post-independence governments have made numerous efforts to streamline land governance and reconfigure the role of land in national development, the majority of these efforts have failed to address underlying issues and have thus remained unimplemented to date.
The ways in which people obtain land in Uganda are changing fast. Land that used to be secured through inheritance, gifts or proof of long-term occupancy is now more commonly changing hands in the market. Those with wealth and powerful connections are frequently able to override local rules and gain access to land at the expense of poorer individuals. Government-backed agribusiness investors receive large areas of land with benefits for some local farmers who are able to participate in the schemes, while other smallholders see their land access and livelihoods degraded.
Property rights economically empower women by creating opportunities for earning income, securing their place in the community and ensuring their livelihoods. When women are economically empowered, it spurs development for their families and communities. Property Rights and Gender in Uganda: A Training Toolkit seeks to strengthen understanding of property rights for women and men as equal citizens.
This guide has been written as an information resource for government officials, community leaders, humanitarian aid workers, judges, lawyers and others whose responsibilities include upholding land and property rights in Uganda. It outlines the main provisions of Uganda’s constitutional and legal framework and the protection these provide to property rights. It briefly outlines the historical background to existing land tenure relations, describes the constitutional provisions relating to land in the 1995 Constitution and sets out the main provisions of the Land Act 1998.
In northern Uganda, common grazing lands are central to village life. While nominally used for grazing livestock, communities also depend on their grazing lands to collect basic household necessities such as fuel, water, food, building materials for their homes, and traditional medicines. Yet growing population density, increasing land scarcity, weak rule of law, and the 1998 Land Act’s legalization of a land market have created a situation of intense competition for land in northern Uganda.
In the developed countries less than 20 per cent of the population is engaged in agriculture. The rest is employed in the industrial sector. In the underdeveloped countries less than 10 per cent of the population is employed in the industrial sector and the rest is engaged in agriculture. At once this dictates that, for some time to come, the route to development in the latter countries will depend on agriculture, which also mainly depends on land policy and tenure. The land question is a contradiction in land rights and consequential social, economic and political abuses replicated on it.
The protection given to the land rights of women, orphans and any other vulnerable groups in Northern and Eastern Uganda is probably as good as can be found anywhere in the world. Customary land law is based on three main principles. First, everyone is entitled to land, and no-one can ever be denied land rights. A second principle is that all inherited land is family land, never individual property.
This research forms part of a larger study on large-scale land acquisition in Uganda. There are three main components of this study: (1) a “risk map” that identifies areas “at risk” for land acquisition due to their high suitability for biofuel crop production; (2) a due diligence report on the existing land uses and users of land identified as “at risk” in the first activity; and (3) an assessment of the land acquisition process, including applicable social and environmental safeguards.
Since Karamoja is richly endowed with gold, marble, iron ore, tungsten, limestone, oil and gas, it has attracted many investors, in particular since the protracted armed conflicts in northern Uganda started fading away. Approximately 1 7,000 km2 or 62% of the total land area of Karamoja has been licensed for mineral exploration and exploitation (Kabiswa, 2014).
Rome—Considerable gains have been made in land-tenure governance in the past five years, but more must be done to improve the lives of billions of people—that was the message at a high-level event cohosted by the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and the European Union (EU) to mark the fifth anniversary of guidelines to recognize and secure tenure rights.