Are urban land tenure regulations in Namibia the solution or the problem?

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Taylor & Francis


Land tenure in Namibia is regulated by a variety of Acts, some of which date back to as far as 1937, and some of which are yet to be approved by Cabinet. This variety of Acts makes it difficult to evaluate the performance of land administration as a whole, and the appropriateness of coercive instruments with regards to urban land tenure in particular. In this article we evaluate how urban land tenure regularization practices are conducted in Namibia, and to compare new formal procedures, designed to address problems of efficiency and efficacy, to older existing procedures, supposedly not efficient or effective. This evaluation uses a theoretical framework of (Pritchett and Woolcock, 2004) , which deals with public service delivery and transaction-intensive services. Applying this framework for a comparative analysis of 5 different land subdivision practices – each relying on a different land-related act - we conclude that the degree of regulation and regularization is perhaps not so much a solution for urban land tenure problems but perhaps more of a problem in itself.


This is an electronic version of an article published in Land Use Policy, 26, 2009. Land Use Policy is available online at


Urban land tenure regulations - Namibia, Land tenure regulations - Namibia


De Vriesa, W., & Lewis, J. (2009). Are urban land tenure regulations in Namibia the solution or the problem?