Tanzania—Feed the Future Tanzania Land Tenure Assistance (LTA)

Client: U.S. Agency for International Development

Duration: 2015-2019

Region: Sub-Saharan Africa

Country: Tanzania

Solutions: Economic Growth Environment and Energy Governance

Smallholder land registrations under the Village Land Act in Tanzania are of considerable importance in protecting local land rights. Since passing the Village Act in 1999, the process of registration has moved slowly, mainly because of operational capacity limitations. Procedures for bringing the laws into effect need to be low-cost, simple, efficient, and equitable.

Future transactions must be supported and the land registers maintained at village and district levels. Under the LTA program, DAI will modify an existing tool for mapping smallholdings and detailing ownership claims—Mobile Application to Secure Tenure (MAST), which the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) has piloted in Tanzania. This tool will be linked to a low-cost land registry tool Technical Register Under Social Tenure (TRUST), that DAI will develop at local levels with a view to scaling up to other areas of the country.

MAST, with the modifications made by DAI, is one of a number of tools that USAID is developing. Already, other land tenure and forestry projects have shown interest in acquiring the new MAST for application to their programs.

The outcome of LTA—a low-cost, participatory land registration process—will transform the way land rights are managed in Tanzania, with the potential for adaptation and use elsewhere.

Sample Activities

  • Assist villages and district administrations in Kilombero and Iringa in understanding the laws and completing the land-use planning process and delivering Certificates of Customary Right of Occupancy.
  • Support capacity building of village and district land governance institutions.
  • Expand to Mbeya with similar programs to educate and build capacity of village land governance institutions, and of district-level land governance in Mbeya.
  • Building capacity to use the MAST application throughout Tanzania.

Select Results

  • Designed and developed formal field and office operations and procedures for regularising land ownership, with a view to registering land in more than 40 villages by December 2019. This process is being implemented in the districts of Iringa and Mbeya.
  • Completed the first two villages with more than 2,700 parcels demarcated and claims taken with 840 Certificates of Customary Right of Occupancy printed for issuance. Targets for scaling up have been established.
  • More than 55 percent of claimants in the early villages are women, who hold land in multiple plots either singly, jointly, or in common. Analysis of incoming data is ongoing to ensure rights of women and vulnerable groups are secured.
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