Over the last 20 years in Tanzania, an increasing number of foreign investors have been leasing land for agriculture, tourism, and forest plantations. But to date, too few land-based investments have generated significant incomes for rural communities, threatening the land tenure rights of affected communities and leading to an escalation of land-based conflicts, especially over disputed claims.
Much is due to the fact that rural communities have limited capacity to engage in land-based investment deals. Combined with ineffective community engagement and a lack of transparency on the part of investors and responsible government authorities, it has meant that contracts are often signed without the communities being aware of their rights or the implications of the terms agreed.
What can be done to improve the situation? Over the last five years, Landesa has worked with the Tanzania Land Alliance (TALA) and the Tanzania Natural Resource Forum (TNRF) on a National Engagement Strategy to monitor land-based investment in Tanzania and promote people-centred land governance.