Shopping for land rights in Bukavu

I had a short but interesting conversation with Fons van Overbeek (@fvanoverbeek) recently about how people acquire land rights in Bukavu, which he allowed me to Storify:storify 1 storify 2 storify 3I haven’t read much of the economics literature on land titling and development, but what I have read (like Field 2007, PDF) seems to indicate that land tenure is viewed as a binary variable: either formal or informal.  The situation in Bukavu clearly looks different.  I wonder if this is attributable to the extreme weakness of the Congolese state, or if state provision of multiple overlapping land titles is common in all low income countries.

2 thoughts on “Shopping for land rights in Bukavu

  1. As a part of my masters I’ve been researching aspects of ambiguous land ownership. In particular I spent a few months in Brazil talking to people about the unclear tenure laws and how they vary from agency to agency, so a lot of people I talked to thought they owned their land, but the government itself – depending on who I spoke to – was conflicted as to whether or not that was true. When writing up my findings, and even when devising my interviews, I had a lot of trouble with the binary understanding of land ownership. So I’d say that this problem is probably fairly worldwide, although maybe in different formats.


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