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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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.
Rwanda and Tanzania are among six countries in Africa seen to be working towards securing land rights to at least 30 per cent of their women by 2025.
Our latest WOLTS publication is a fascinating photo essay from one of our pilot research communities, Mundarara, in Tanzania.