On Land Tenure, Uganda Go Back to Our Roots

Access to land is a major constraint, and only a small fraction of urban farmers own their land. For those with access to land, urban farming is associated with higher levels of household food security and child nutrition.

Daniel G. Maxwell

In order to acquire land for the Republic of Uganda (RoU), the English colonialist deliberately suppressed the laws of the first nations of Uganda – Teso, Karimoja, Buganda, Busoga, Ankole, Bunyoro, Acholi, Lango, etc.

What is considered customary tenure within State Law is a concoction that the English colonialist made up in order to subjugate and undermine the laws of the first nations of Uganda.

Defining land ownership by use rights, as the first nations did, has been abandoned, and the dominant definition of land ownership is that which confers absolute individual rights over land and which treats land as a commodity.

When colonialist left, the land that was prior grabbed to form the RoU was not handed back to the authorities of the first nations, but to the Government of Uganda (GoU). This is where the rethinking of Uganda’s land question should begin; Uganda’s pre-colonial era.

This advisory is extracted from a chapter that is titled: “Land Tenure, Access to Land and Food Security in Uganda”, that I, Ms. Norah Owaraga, authored.

My chapter is published as pages 3-10 in a Friedrich Ebert Stiftung 2017 publication that is titled: “African Perspectives on Social Justice – Land, Food Security and Agriculture in Uganda.” Click on the link and continue to read.

I invite you to share feedback through comment to this blog post. Let us continue the conversation.

Photo credit: Landscape in Ntumgamo in Western Uganda. Photo taken by Emmanuel Owaraga.

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