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SSLA Land Theme Research Briefing 1. The Politics of Land Reform in Southern Africa.

Published by:
Publication date
Type of Publication:
Working Papers & Briefs
Focus Region:
Sub-Saharan Africa
Focus Topic:
Institutions / Organizations
Type of Risk:
Policy & institutional
Lahiff, E.; Scoones, I.

A range of factors – from the global to the local – have combined to put land firmly on the political agenda in southern Africa. The transition to peace and democracy in Mozambique and South Africa has unleashed pressure for the restoration of land seized by white colonists and for the development of land still in the hands of indigenous communities. Despite considerable progress in land reform in Zimbabwe since independence, the continued domination of the agricultural sector by a tiny white minority has created fertile ground for an increasingly violent agrarian politics. This brief examines country experiences in Zimbabwe, Mozambique and South Africa to describe the effects of land reform and rural development strategies promoted by governments in southern Africa.