Land Tenure Policy and Practice in Botswana – Governance Lessons for Southern Africa

March 2003
Martin Adams (Mokoro), Faustin Kalabamu and Richard White (Published in Journal Entwicklungspolitik (Austrian Journal of Development Studies), XIX, 1, 2003, 55-74. This was part of a special edition devoted to land reform in Africa edited by Birgit Englert and Walter Schicho)

Like other countries in the region, Botswana inherited a dual system of statutory and customary tenure at independence. Despite the contrasting characteristics of these two systems, it has developed a robust land administration, which has greatly contributed to good governance and economic progress. Its land tenure policy has been described as one of careful change, responding to particular needs with specific tenure innovations. Botswana continues to adapt its land administration, based on customary rights and values, to a rapidly urbanising economy and expanding land market. Its approach is of interest because it is finding solutions to problems that continue to elude its neighbours.