Land Registration in Tigray, Northern Ethiopia | Land Portal

Resource information

Date of publication: 
January 2005
Resource Language: 
ISBN / Resource ID: 

This case study assesses the strengths and weaknesses of a simple, inexpensive, village-based land registration system put in place between 1996 and 1998 in Tigray, Ethiopia.The authors found that the system worked well and fairly - in large part due to it’s simplicity and low cost. Success also depended, however, on effective local governments which were able to prevent inequities from unforeseen shortcomings. At the same time, those same shortcomings are analysed and also serve as lessons: that the choice of a land description technology has consequences in use; that title is a legal conclusion that must be constantly updated to be reliable; that registering all the land of a household together under the name of the household head may lead to unnecessary recording problems and inequities when transactions, such as divorce, occur; and that intersections between registration systems (e.g., urban/rural, individual/community, small-holder/investor, cultivated/forested) may create problems.The report concludes that:the Tigray process proves that land registration is not inherently anti-poor in its impactsthe distributional consequences of land registration will depend on the design of the process and governance of the institutions responsible for its managementland registration procedures can be elaborated which systematically address the risk of bias against poorer, more marginal groups, by considering:locationregistration feeslanguage usedrecognition of secondary rightsBased on these findings certain continuity, and certain changes, are recommended.This report forms part of a series of seven papers based on a research programme entitled “Securing Land Rights in Africa: Can land registration serve the poor?” led by IIED.

Authors and Publishers

Author(s), editor(s), contributor(s): 

M. Haile
W. Witten
K. Abraha
S. Fissha
A. Kebeda
G. Kassa
G. Reda

Data provider

Geographical focus

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