Land has played a critical role in Tanzania’s development. Current land tenure frameworks, issues and conflicts in the country have historical roots dating back to the pre-colonial period. The periods of German and British rule were also formative in establishing current land sector rules and challenges, as has been the post-independence period. During the pre-colonial period, all land was owned communally and all members of the community had equal access. When the Tanganyika was under German Colonial rule (1891-1919), there were three types of land tenure: freehold titles created out of conveyance, leasehold granted by the emperor and customary tenure for natives. When the British took over (1919-1961), they recognized existing German laws and put in place new land laws such as the Land Ordinance of 1923. After independence, freehold titles were converted into government leases and later rights of occupancy.
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‘WOLTS Team Perspectives’ is a new series of blogs launched in February 2020 by the global WOLTS team. In this series, field team members share their views about the impacts of the project’s action-research on gender, land and mining among pastoralist communities in Tanzania and Mongolia.
The Hadzabe people of northern Tanzania are one of the world’s oldest communities. Living at the base of the Rift Valley, believed to be the origin of human species, the Hadzabe live as they always have.