Indigenous land rights in Sub-Saharan Africa: Appropriation, security and investment demand

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Elsevier Science Ltd.

We discuss the links between rights appropriation, tenure security, and investment demand in sub-Saharan Africa. Common assertions regarding indigenous tenure are: (a) insecurity of tenure leads to suboptimal investment incentives; and (b) appropriation of land rights in the public domain in rent-dissipating. We argue that land use and investment decisions among African farmers often have two motives--productivity and rights appropriation. The usual assertions thus seem contradictory. We offer a conceptual model to show that indigenous tenure may provide equal or higher investment incentives than private rights, and may promote modes of rights appropriation that are productive rather than wasteful. --Elsevier Science Ltd.

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Common property resources, Land tenure, Property rights, Indigenous tenure, Investments, Productivity, Ecosystem
World Development 25(4):549-562