PROTECTING LAND RIGHTS THROUGH LOCAL REGISTRIES IN THE IVORY COAST

When people have no clear rights to use the land on which they live and work, they are unable to invest in their future. In the Ivory Coast (Côte d’Ivoire) only 4 percent of rural lands are registered, leaving villagers in vast areas of the country without secure property rights, and the complex registration process is cost-prohibitive for both them and the national government. A new rural land reform study by Atlas Network partnerAudace Institut Afrique, titled “How to reinvent the rural land system in Ivory Coast,”explains how this problem can be alleviated through the use of informal land registries to establish property claims and decentralizing authority to the level of local village committees.
“Formalizing land rights transform the relationship between local government and state,” the study explains (translated from French). “Existing customary rights are replaced by a system that is often at odds with community realities.”

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