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Contemporary Customary Land Issues in Africa: Navigating the Contours of Change

Contemporary Customary Land Issues in Africa: Navigating the Contours of Change

Edited by Horman Chitonge and Bridget Bwalya Umar

This book examines the different dimensions of converting customary land into leasehold, including the impact of this practice on rural livelihoods and land tenure in Zambia. Since the 1995 passage of Land Act No. 29, conversion of customary land has become a controversial policy in Zambia. The practice generates challenges and opportunities: issues related to the future of customary land, the role of traditional authorities in this changing rural setting, intricate politics and gender dynamics, and the question of whether this practice is creating a viable land market in rural areas. All of these are discussed within the broader framework of political, social, and environmental factors that underpin the current changes occurring in Zambia. Although most of the chapters focus on Zambia, two chapters take a comparative approach, examining land use and livelihood issues in Zambia and South Africa.

Chapters in this book draw from the Land Use and Rural Livelihoods in Africa Project (LURLAP), collaborative research undertaken by staff and students at the Centre for African Studies, University of Cape Town, and the Department of Geography and Environmental Studies at the University of Zambia (UNZA). LURLAP is a comparative research project with case studies in eight African countries including South Africa, Mozambique, Ethiopia, Tanzania, Uganda, Ghana, Zambia and Zimbabwe.

Horman Chitonge

Horman Chitonge is a senior researcher at the Centre for African Studies, University of Cape Town (UCT). He holds a PhD in Development Studies from the University of KwaZulu-Natal. Prior to joining UCT, he taught at the University of Durban Westville and UKZN. His research interests include access to land and water, strategies for poverty reduction, and economic growth and development challenges in Africa. He has published extensively, including two recent monographs: Economic Growth and Development in Africa: Understanding Trends and Prospects (Routledge 2015)and Beyond Parliament: Human Rights and the Politics of Social Change in Global South (Brill 2015). He has also published numerous peer reviewed journal articles and book chapters on issues of land reform, access to water, poverty and economic growth in Africa. His work has appeared in African Journal of Social Sciences, Southern African Development Community Law Journal, Habitat International, Journal of Poverty and Public Policy, Journal of African Studies and Development, and the Arrupe Journal of Philosophy, among others.

Bridget Bwalya Umar, PhD.

Bridget Bwalya Umar is a faculty member in the Department of Geography and Environmental Studies, University of Zambia. She is also a Fellow of African Women in Agricultural Research and Development (AWARD) and was recently a postdoctoral guest researcher at Umea University, Sweden. She holds a PhD in Environment and Development studies and a Masters Degree in Management of Natural Resources and Sustainable Agriculture from the Norwegian University of Life Sciences. Her research interests include land, wildlife, and forest resource management; rural livelihoods and development; institutions and the environment; political ecology, and sustainable agriculture. She has published numerous peer reviewed articles in journals including Renewable Agriculture and Food Systems, the Journal of Agricultural Studies, the African Journal of Agricultural Research, The Open Forest Science, Sustainable Agriculture Research, and the Journal of Sustainable Agriculture.

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IAD/CSP 2018, 262 pages, 978-1-5275-1100-2, 1-5275-1100-6