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Graduate Student Research (2020 Deadline)


Tanzania - Project E3-005: Land tenure in Tanzania: economic loss experienced from exclusion of women and youth in land security

Mentor: Emmanuel Mwang’onda, Institute of Rural Development Planning
U.S. Partner: Jessica Rudder, University of California, Davis
Mentee: Deodatus Lubinga
Dates: July 2020 - September 2021

Project Overview:


Security in ownership of major economic resources such as land increases possibilities of economic growth and development in developing societies. Access to secure land tenure helps to ensure that individuals may enjoy prosperity as an output of the production process. Land tenure systems that are designed to incorporate all groups in society—especially women, youth, and marginalized groups—will promote long-term investment on land, sustainable usage of land resources, increased government revenue, and peace and harmony among society members (Alvarez and Huth, 2017). In Africa, land is an essential factor in production in many societies; however, due to the customary regulatory and legal framework in place, the resource is enjoyed only by a minority of large landowners. Data from USAID in 2017 indicates that more than 70 per cent of land in developing countries is unregistered or unsecure. In securing the land rights, in most cases men tend to benefit more than women, even though women have proven to be more efficient that men in efficient utilization of land resources when given access (FAO, 2018). The situation on the also shows that not only women in most cases are deprived from land ownership and control but also many youths experience similar segregation from full access to land ownership and control, thus limiting their participation in society’s development process.

This study focuses on analyzing data collected through previous USAID-funded projects conducted in the Iringa and Mbeya Districts in Tanzania such as Mobile Applications for Secure Tenure (MAST) and the Technical Register for Social Tenure (TRUST). Findings from the study should speed up the process of scaling up and integrating MAST in the issuance of Certificates of Customary Right of Occupancy in most villages in Tanzania, thus helping to resolve land disputes, intensify long-term investments in land, increase access to formal financial institution funding, empower youth and women, and encourage sustainable utilization of land resources

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