Certificates of Customary Ownership Risky Business

Deducing from Uganda’s National Development Plans, the National Resistance Movement Organisation (NRMO) Administration holds the conventional economics view that land ownership in the ‘traditional Africa sense’ is inefficient and an impediment to development.

The NRMO Administration seemingly implies that the ‘traditional African sense’ of land ownership impedes its plans to transform Uganda from a ‘peasant-based economy’ to a ‘modern country’, because, according to the NRMO Administration, it makes acquisition of land in the ‘global-western sense’ difficult.

Insensitivity of the NRMO Administration to the ‘traditional African sense’ of land ownership is likely the reason why many in Uganda are averse to the whole idea of registering land that is under customary tenure through the issuance of Certificates of Customary Ownership (CCOs).

Seemingly, CCOs, as they are promoted by the NRMO Administration and their ‘development partners’, are incompatible with the ‘traditional African sense’ of land ownership and are more in tune with the ‘global-western sense’ of land ownership. CCOs are currently promoted as that which provides customary land owners with ‘security of tenure’ and at the same time can be used as collateral for bank loans.

Some find it oxymoronic to infer security of tenure in a document that potentially facilitates land dispossession and land grabbing. Continue reading

1 thought on “Certificates of Customary Ownership Risky Business”

  1. Thanks Norah, What is happening in Uganda in regards to land. Is that both the state and the citizens do not understand the full context of land tenure and tenure security. Everything is mixed. If the state understands well it highly makes situations difficult. Their some critical issiues missunderstood in uganda, i.e Ownership rights, and access rights and the two have further been complicated by the state


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