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Rural Benin: From adaptation back to replacement? Philippe Lavigne Delville Anthropologist.

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Presentation on theme: "Rural Benin: From adaptation back to replacement? Philippe Lavigne Delville Anthropologist."— Presentation transcript:

1 Rural Benin: From adaptation back to replacement? Philippe Lavigne Delville Anthropologist

2 Strong criticisms and doubts about massive privatization strategies » Issues of relevance and of feasibility We should be moving away from a "replacement paradigm," in which indigenous tenures are to be replaced by tenure provided by the state, toward an "adaptation paradigm" (Bruce and Mighot-Adholla, 1994, Searching for Land Tenure Security in Africa, World Bank, p. 261) 1980-90s From replacement to adaptation

3 2000s : back to replacement strategies? – But are the conditions for success met today? » Relevance for people? » Political will? » Legal, institutional and operational capacities? Benin : adaptation vs replacement in the 2000s

4 The Rural Land Law 2007-003 in Benin: an adaptation strategy Built on pilot project (Ministry for Agriculture/AFD/GTZ) Customary land as private land : out of (post-colonial) State control Commune and village-level land administration framework, Every land transactions to be recorded at village/commune level Rural Land Maps (PFRs) for mapping and registering locally legitimate land rights, when villages ask for it Individual or collective Rural Land Certificates -> Bridging local and state land regulation -> Pragmatic answer for land transactions with or without PFRs -> A progressive/medium term extension of plot registration at country level, depending on means and needs Benin : two competing policies within in a few years

5 Domain and Land Code (2013) : back to replacement? Led by Ministry for Urbanism and MCA/MCC Privatisation: Land Ownership Certificates for urban and rural plots PFR in every village, leading to Land Ownership Every land sale has to be recorded by notaries or registred at notaries offices (exception for PFRs? Not clear) New National Agency with commune-level offices for land rights administration Enforcing classical land administration procedures And expanding it at country level By a new Agency With innovations, better coherence Strong sanctions in case of fraud

6 -> Uniformisation of land law : theoritical coherence but back to unclear « presumed ownership » for unregistered land -> Only private ownership : family land are not « collective ownership », other users rights ? Ambiguities on rural land and rural land sales Heavy procedures once registered

7 Replacement strategy: Issues of relevance and feasibility Shortcomings for replacement strategies Economic and social relevance – Doubts on economic outcomes when « significant imperfections in interlinked markets » (Binswanger et al) : no enabling agricultural policies in Benin – Social cost of privatisation : which alternative? Ability to register transactions and ensure maintenance of information – Few land transactions in significant parts of the country – Already local/commune procedures for land transactions – Peoples interest? Administrative capacities? – (MCA projects: rural areas : 7/% of registered plots have certificate; less than 1000 Land Titles in 5 years in urban areas)

8 Affordability and financial viability of systematic PFRs and a new nation-wide land administration agency – Land information as public good – State financial commitment? – Risks of future collapse if donor-funded

9 5 years for a shift? Funds and time for nation-level registration Time for legal adjudication (MCA urban project) Time to build and develop the administration framework – Land Agency with 77 commune level offices – Currently only 35 notaries, mainly in south One year after the Code, still contradictory institutional claims for the Agencys control

10 What after 5 years? Uncomplete institutional framework Unequal access to notaries and land administration agency Current commune-level practices for land transactions out of law – Fines and jail for mayors ! Adding complexity and uncertainty, and new « unformal/illegal » situations -> « Modernizing insecurity » (Jansen and Roquas) for most, while facilitating access to ownership for urban elites? -> Or recreating a new transitory framework for a progressive / medium term transformation? (back to adaptation)

11 Thanks for attention

12 Unité de production Chef dunité de production

13 Adaptation Local land rights as private rights, individual or collective Rural Land Certificates Commune/village level land adminstration framework (few new recurrent costs) Procedures for land transactions, with or without PFRs Progressive PFRs extension according to means and needs (most insecurity dealt even without Land Certificates) Ability to extend even without hard reform of current land administration Replacement Private ownership only (what with existing rights?) New Land Administration Agency, with commune level offices (high recurrent costs) Every plot has to be recorded in the short term. Land Agency and notaries required for every transaction 5 years for country level registration Dependance on reluctant administrative reform Thanks for your attention!

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