Luanda's Post-War Land Markets: Reducing Poverty by Promoting Inclusion

Citation:

Cain, Allan. 2013. Luanda's Post-War Land Markets: Reducing Poverty by Promoting Inclusion. Urban Forum 24 (1) (03): 11-31.

Author: Cain Allan

Abstract:

Almost 40 years of war in Angola forced millions of people fleeing rural areas to seek a safe haven in the capital and to settle in informal slum settlements ( musseques) on the periphery of Luanda. The new urban migrants created homes and settlements on landthat they purchased in good faith but for which they could get no legal title. Now, they face eviction threats due to commercial interests and government infrastructure expansion. With a population today approaching of over six million, Luanda is Africa's fastest growing and fifth largest city. A decade of post-war rapid economic growth, fuelled by rising commodity prices, has seen GDP per capita grow eightfold, but poverty reduction has not kept apace. The poor, representing over 50 % of the population, have benefited little from the 'peace dividend'. The Angolan Government has promised to build one million homes country-wide before the 2012 elections and aims to eliminate much of the musseque in the process. However, the government's urban plans remain hindered by a weak administration and little national implementation capacity. Despite the government's assertion as the unique owner and manager of all land, there exists a thriving real-estate market for both formal (titled) and informally occupied land. Most urban residents with weak or non-existent tenure rights benefit little from increasing land values and are susceptible to being forcibly removed and increasingly obliged to occupy environmentally risky flood-prone areas. This paper presents the results of work on property markets in Luanda that permit a better understanding of the nature and economic value of land and identify the problems and potentials the market has to offer. The paper argues for a major reform in public land policy, recognising the legitimacy of common practices inland acquisition and long-term occupation in good faith. Inclusive land management, adapting to both formal and existing informal markets, can contribute to the improvement of urban settlement conditions and economic wellbeing of the poor in post-war Luanda.

Keywords: Angola, land markets, post-conflict, slum, urban, tenure

Topics: Armed Conflict, Development, Economies, Governance, Post-conflict Governance, Infrastructure, Peace Processes, Post-Conflict, Religion, Rights, Property Rights Regions: Africa, Southern Africa Countries: Angola

Year: 2013

© 2017 CONSORTIUM ON GENDER, SECURITY & HUMAN RIGHTSLEGAL STATEMENT All photographs used on this site, and any materials posted on it, are the property of their respective owners, and are used by permission. Photographs: The images used on the site may not be downloaded, used, or reproduced in any way without the permission of the owner of the image. Materials: Visitors to the site are welcome to peruse the materials posted for their own research or for educational purposes. These materials, whether the property of the Consortium or of another, may only be reproduced with the permission of the owner of the material. This website contains copyrighted materials. The Consortium believes that any use of copyrighted material on this site is both permissive and in accordance with the Fair Use doctrine of 17 U.S.C. § 107. If, however, you believe that your intellectual property rights have been violated, please contact the Consortium at info@genderandsecurity.org.