Civil society and the land question in Tanzania | Land Portal

Informations sur la ressource

Date of publication: 
janvier 2000
Resource Language: 
ISBN / Resource ID: 

The Land Policy in Tanzania is an example of citizens engaging in a protracted struggle for effective participation in the policy process, despite the long exclusion they have experienced in policy making. This paper looks at the evolution of the policy, and the interactions between civil society and the state in its development.The paper concludes that this was the first serious and systematic civic organizations' challenge to the state command model of policy process. Citizens' struggle for participation in the policy process paid off as a number of adjustments were made to the Bill which otherwise would not have been made. Putting gender on the agenda of the Land Bill debate is a significant achievement. Another outcome mentioned was that there was a slight shift in government attitudes toward civil organizations. Senior officials from the ministry responsible for land, including the Commissioner for land, attended meetings organized by the Task Force and answered questions from participants.The fact that the enactment of the Land Law was delayed for more than two years shows organized citizens are a power to reckon with in the policy process. It also shows that the state can no longer ride high in matters that are of deep concern on the part of the citizens. Moreover, the process equipped citizens with confidence, new strategies and experience of dealing with the state in the policy process.However, the process has also identified weaknesses in the functioning of civil society in the process. Given the task that was before the members of the NGO groups, very few people had a clear vision and strategy towards the issues to which the National Land Forum concerned itself with. There was a clear problem of disunity in purpose created by the presence of two distinct groups: one group advocating for general land rights to Tanzanians; the other group advocating on land rights for women (youth and children). Whilst the focus of the campaign was initially on the people, as time went by, this moved to the mobilization of support from parliamentarians and legal draftspersons. The author concludes that this weakened the process, and greatly affected the results of the campaign.

Auteurs et éditeurs

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

E. T. Mallya


Fournisseur de données

eldis (ELDIS)

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