Land Security

Sweden will contribute to strengthening land rights of both small scale farmers and large scale investors, with strong focus on rights of women.


Land in Tanzania mainland is categorized into three types:

  • Village land covers about 70 percent and accommodates about 80 percent of the population in rural area. It is under administration of the Village Council.
  • Reserved land covers 28 percent comprises forestry land, national parks and game reserves, land reserved for public utilities etc, and is managed by relevant conservation authorities. 
  • General land covers about 2 percent and consists of all land that is in urban areas, plots and farms. It is administered by Commissioner for Lands.

Unclear and sometimes conflicting land rights – and conflicting land uses - can negatively influence land related investments, and can be a constraint for small scale farmers and land users that reduces opportunities for productive investments. It can also increase costs, and interest in investing, for larger scale investor, particularly if there are risks of land conflicts. Women´s rights to land are officially safe-guarded, but are often not respected in practice. Security regarding land rights for different user groups, including pastoralists, is an important transparency and rights issue.

Swedish support

Support to the land sector is a new area in the Results Strategy and the expected result is:

  • Increased legal security regarding land rights for small-scale farmers and large-scale

The Swedish support will therefore be focused on initiatives that will strengthen the land administration systems and improve good governance of land, and on ensuring active involvement and rights of other stakeholders (private sector, civil society etc ). Support will mainly be channelled to the Ministry of Lands, Housing and Human Settlement, but with complimentary support provided to Civil Society. Research on land issues is supported under the research collaboration.

The main dialogue issues are:

  • Reducing laws and practices that discriminate women for having access to land (e.g. inheritance).
  • Secure land rights  for other vulnerable groups, including pastoralists.
  • Resettlement Policy and Act to comply with international (IFC) standard.

On-going and anticipated contributions include:

  • Support to the Pastoralists Indigenous Non-Governmental Organisations
    (PINGO) Forum.
  • Support to Legal and Human Rights Centre (LHRC), which among other issues work on land rights.
  • Research and capacity building at Ardhi University (ARU).
  • Support to the Association of Local Authorites, Tanzania (ALAT),  which  includes community-based natural resources management.
  • The Tanzania Land Tenure Support Programme, implemented by Ministry of Lands, Housing and Human Settlement. Agreement for this three year programme, co-funded with DFID and Danish Embassy, is anticipated to be signed early 2015.
  • Research and capacity building at Ardhi University (ARU).

Recent results

Land conflicts are an important human rights issue in Tanzania. 42%, of the 15,671 individuals who received legal support from the  Legal and Human Rights Centre (LHRC) in 2013,  were related to conflicts around land. LHRC is also working with several strategic legal cases to encourage a more conducive legal praxis. 

Josefin Bennet Fredriksson (