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1. Law is needed to create the formal structure for macro economic control;
legislation can translate policy goals into action by channeling economic
behavior in accordance with the national plans. As per Trubek and Santos in
their book new law and development. In light of the above statement discuss the
effects of the Land Act on the development of Uganda.

Macroeconomics is a branch of economics dealing with the performance, structure,

behavior, and decision-making of an economy as a whole rather than individual
markets. This includes national, regional, and global economies.

The Land Act (Cap.227) of Uganda came into force in 1998, following five years of
vigorous and controversial debate. Most of its provisions had been previously
signaled in the Constitution and the law was intended to give them practical effect.
The two most important issues covered by the Land Act are ownership and tenure
rights and land administration. It created a number of institutions for the management
and administration of land in Uganda describes the powers and functions of these
bodies and also creates awareness of the formal legal framework governing land
relations in Uganda given the fact that land has always been am important factor in
Ugandan societies. This has also been noted as one of the most important legal
developments after independence. The Act formally abolished the Land Reform
Decree of 1975 and restored the systems of land tenure that were in existence at
independence. The Land Act also proposed a series of reforms to radically change the
relationship between the State and the land in Uganda. The aim of this policy has
subsequently been set out in a number of government plans and projects, which all
stress the need to encourage private sector investment in land to increase its
productive capacity.

Economic development is the process and policies by which a nation improves the
economic, political, and social well-being of its people. In this sense, economic
development can be practically equivalent to industrialization. But to say that
economic development is only industrialization would not be correct because besides
involving the use of power and technology in production, it also involves labour
mobility, extensive educational system, and so on. Economic development is the
primary objective of the majority of the worlds nations today in order to raise it per
capita income and better the standards of living of its citizens.

As per the stated question, the following are the positive effects that the Land Act has
had on the development of Uganda;
The Land Act provides for land tenure and has far reaching impacts on agricultural
development. It aims at supporting agricultural development through the
establishment of security tenure which implies stability in the institutions of land
tenure. It also ensures sustainable utilization of land in accordance to Section (17) (1)
of the Land Act to bring about economic development which calls for the creation of
conditions for efficient use and development of land markets meeting the requirement
of society and individual citizens
It has attracted donor interventions. The grants given by donors are received by the
Land Fund under Section 41 (2) (C) of the Land Act. In 2005 for instance the World
Bank developed a second private sector competitiveness project to rehabilitate
existing land records, upgrade unsurveyed Mailo land titles, establish a land
information system and strengthen the capacity of public institutions. A number of
NGOs for example Oxfam, CARE, Advocates for Development and Environment
Centre for Basic Research, The Mission of Uganda Land Alliance have all come up to
promote policies and laws that ensure easy access and ownership of land by the poor
and marginalized people.
The Land Act has ensured the preservation of natural water sources in accordance
with Art. 237 (1)[b] of the Uganda constitution and section 44 (1) of the Land
Act .Lake Victoria for instance is the basis for major planned hydro power schemes in
Uganda as it generates power to almost the whole country and exports to both Kenya
and Tanzania and still provides water to Kampala Entebbe and Jinja. Ground water
also has proved to be a major source of water for the rural areas as it has facilitated
domestic use, irrigation and livestock especially in dry areas like Northern Uganda
.this is one of the major objectives of The National Water Policy (1999) to manage
and develop the water resources of Uganda in and integrated and sustainable manner
so as to secure and provide water of adequate quantity and quality for all social and
economic needs of the present and future generation with full participation of all

The conservation of forests has been encouraged by the Land Act through the
Communal Land Association under Section 23. The National Forestry Authority is
promoting the development of community forests. Management community groups
must register as a communal land association (CLA) under the terms of the land act
and registered groups can then apply to the NFA for the declaration of a community
forest under the National Forestry and Tree Planting Act. This has helped top curb
encroachment of reserved forests, degradation and limits the planting and
maintenance of trees.

There has been increase in the value of land due to continuous scarcity. Very few
people own land nowadays and acquiring a piece of land had become a lot harder due
to inflated prices in the land market. With the discovery of oil in western Uganda that
is the Albert region the land values there are going up as land has become more
expensive due to the presence of oil. Research shows that land markets are active in
Uganda and rental activity has increased with economic growth.
Fewer than 33%of the families in Uganda have deep knowledge of the Land Act. Such
deep knowledge leads to increased investment, productivity and higher values of land.
This is because the Act creates awareness of land right and therefore those aware of
these can be able to secure their land through acquisition of land titles with which they
will have proof of ownership and are free to do as they desire with their land whether
to invest in it or rent it out to potential tenants
In central region of Uganda most of the land is held in free hold hence one of the
reasons for development and other areas of the country are following suit as
conversion to free hold makes the land more marketable. This is because the owners
can insist on substantial compensation if the government wants the land for
development due to the maximum security that the free hold tenure provides to the
owner of the land.
The Land Act has facilitated improvement in infrastructure through the government
acquisition of land under Section 42 of the Act and Article 237 Section 2 (c) of the
Uganda Constitution. In this initiative the government uses such land for road
construction, railway line construction, establishment of water pipes and sewers plus
drainage channels. It has also enabled the construction of dams and hydropower
projects in order to generate electricity for the country.

In addition the Land Act has also helped to prevent pollution and diversion of water
sources because it holds such powers to protect water sources for the greater good of
all citizens of the country under Section 70 (1). This has ensured that the citizens get
access to clean water thus reducing the rate of infections from the consumption of
rather polluted water.
Foreign investment has been facilitated by the enactment of the Land Act. Under
Section 40(1) foreign citizens can now acquire land through the supervision of
government and therefore encourages development. Today there are many foreigners
that have set up investments in Uganda especially in the manufacturing industry. Due
to the establishment of these industries the locals have been able to get employment.
However, the Land Act too has had various negative impacts on the development of
Uganda and these are vividly explained below:
Under the establishment of the land commission the idea of appointment of members
by the president reflects political bias with a lack of representation and meritocracy as
its hallmark as highlighted in Section 47 (1). Furthermore the commission has wide
ranging powers according to Section 53 and doesnt spell out accountability
mechanisms through which the commission will exercise such powers and therefore
the commission is likely to use these provisions to deny security tenure and rights to
property of individuals or organizations not in political favor .the land committees too
are likely to suffer from corruption, political vindictiveness, lack of merit and
capability but most importantly their creation is likely to expand land bureaucracy.
District Land Boards in many districts are there just in name. According to the
publication of Civil Society Organization for Peace in Northern Uganda (CSOPNU) in
2004, the land tribunals by then had not done any work. In Gulu, Pader and Kitgum it
was found that the LC1s were more consulted in land matters of which 40 of them
who had been interviewed had completely no knowledge of the Land Act. This is a
function of the Land Tribunal according to Section 76 (1) (a). The Land Boards
basically lack experience and resources to function effectively. The registry offices are
ill equipped and out dated and the registry itself is inefficient and operates with little
transparency as there is rampant title forgery. This generates insecurity of property
rights and makes it difficult to use land as collateral. The land tribunals had been too

ineffective that in December 2007 they were all suspended due to problems of
implementation and a long backlog of cases.

The Land Act is unlikely to have a positive impact on the supply of commercial bank
credit as most farmers may not possess land titles. This is because they will not
possess concrete property rights over the land occupied since financial institutions
prefer security of freehold land compared to others as if that is not enough there are
financial implications on obtaining registration of land when changing from
customary to leasehold since the majority of the population is poor hence this proves
costly and therefore retards economic development.
The conversion of land into free hold may instead lead to fragmentation beyond
economic viability. The land loses its fertility gradually as it is being over utilized and
divided further into smaller pieces in order to facilitate a seemingly large population.
In kigezi in western Ugandan, this problem has been cited already and the land has
continuously become less productive, lost its value and hence led to
underdevelopment of Ugandas economy. Moreover the procedure for obtaining a free
hold tenure are very lengthy according to Section 12 (b) of the Land Act
Customary land tenure tends to emphasize cultural values more than the economic and
financial gains from the land. It further retards development because land users are not
encouraged to make long term investments on their land due to lack of titles
Loss of land and displacement of people has also been noted due to execution of
public works. The government is granted power under Section 73 (1) (2) of the Land
Act to acquire land to execute public works and its bound under Section 73 (3) to
provide compensation to the occupier of the land. In most cases, many people have
been displaced without being awarded compensation and most of their claims for legal
redress have fallen on deaf ears as the Land Tribunal meant to handle such matters is
highly inefficient in accomplishing its duties.

The land Act also leaves too much power in the hands of the central government. Its
not clear how much control of the natural resources the central government is willing
to devolve to local governments and there is no guarantee that the government wont
encroach on these resources in public interest as it is not bound to provide
alternative land or compensation and need not consult on its actions. The lack of
consultation and vague definition of public interest remains a major shortcoming in
this clause as the natives cant be assured and aware of government plans because
there is no guarantee private property in land ownership and land as a human right.
In conclusion, The Land Act largely ignores a number of crucial socio-political and
theoretical issues. A more rigorous law is needed so that a difference is made on the
lives of people and the economy. The Act needs a radically distributive land reform
giving proper consideration to the peculiar characteristics of the land question in
different parts of the country.

The Land Act
The Uganda Constitution
Justice Benjamin Odoki: The Report of The Uganda Constitutional Commission;
Analysis and Recommendations.
International Land Coalition 2009: Uganda Land Alliance
Uganda National Water Development Report 2005
USAID: Uganda Land Tenure And Property Rights Profile
Juma Okuku 1998:Land Tenure and Development in Uganda