CADS is working to provide a better understanding of land tenure regimes in Bukavu, the provincial capital of South Kivu, in the Democratic Republic of Congo. The research has been in part funded by the British Institute in East Africa.
In the context of rapidly rising urbanization rates in the developing world, particularly in Africa, there is a pressing need for more detailed examination of the linkages between land tenure, economic development and security.
Bukavu’s sustainable development is at the nexus of land tenure, political stability, and economic growth. Land use and tenure regimes are precarious topics in the post-conflict setting of eastern Congo, thus enhancing current knowledge is especially pertinent here as the city’s prospects closely reflect those of the wider region.
Ongoing conflict over land hampers development by limiting the capacity of regular citizens to re-engage in economically productive activities. Given Bukavu’s burgeoning population that has tripled since 1984, and its strategic location for trade between central Africa and the East African Community, understanding how land tenure is managed here is crucial if the city is to realize its full potential.
CADS’s ongoing research is based on interviews in Bukavu with recent migrants, well established community members, policy makers, and local government officials. The first round of research will be published by the Food and Agricultural Organisation of the United Nations (FAO) in spring 2012.