By Felician KOMU, Tanzania

This paper argues for the need to adopt a uniform land titling system that does away with the customary land holding system in Tanzania and possibly other African countries. It departs from other existing literature that urges governments to recognize communal rights in land holdings. Urbanization and its way of life is arguably the driving force in national economies as well as in influencing socio-economic structures of the societies, where customary rules and norms that used to govern land use have been eroded. Coupled with incongruent information availability between policy makers and communities, the fate of customary land tenure has suffered a number of setbacks. A more transparent system in sharing information and land laws that take cognizance of the communities aspirations in a market economy situation is needed. Any attempt to extinguish customary land ownership will however, be hotly resisted by the people and policy makers oblivious of the benefits such action will offer. Deliberate efforts should therefore be in place that ensure basic quality standards are met in the titling process at affordable costs and people are informed of the forces at play as their areas continue to be urbanized.

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