Support to land reform

Project description

Title: Support to Land Reform
Commissioned by: German Federal Ministry of Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ)
Country: Namibia
Lead executing agency: Ministry of Landreform
Overall term: 2017 to 2020


Like many other countries, Namibia is urbanising at a rapid pace. Between 2001 and 2011, the urban population increased from 32 to 43 per cent. In spite of its low population density of 2.9 persons per square kilometre, the country has a housing shortage. It is estimated that there are more than 230 informal settlements nationwide housing some 600,000 people. That is 30 per cent of the population. Living conditions in the settlements are precarious. The inhabitants are amongst the country’s lowest income earners and often unemployed. Although the government is working to install basic infrastructure, these informal settlements are continuing to grow unchecked. Their dwellers do not have any secure land rights. In cities and rural areas, landless households – women and young people especially – do not have sufficient access to land.


The Namibian Government secures fair access to land for landless households – especially for women and young people.


The project assists the Namibian Ministry of Land Reform, local municipalities and other relevant actors in securing access to land for landless households in urban and rural areas. The focus is on women and young people in particular. The aim is to regulate land ownership by means of the Flexible Land Tenure System (FLTS).

To secure access to land, the project operates in three areas of activity:

  • Improving the framework conditions for implementing land reform. To this end, the project advises the Ministry of Land Reform on strategic issues and fosters policy dialogue with stakeholders. It also provides training for public service employees.
  • Introducing the Flexible Land Tenure System (FLTS) which is to secure land rights for informal or poor landless urban households. The support involves in-process consultancy that aims to strengthen the capacities of informal settlement communities, local municipalities and employees of the Land Reform and Urban and Rural Development Ministries.
  • Assisting regional councils in building their capacity for planning and implementing integrated regional land use plans. The project advises regional councils on how to analyse the complex requirements of land use plans and enables them to translate these plans into actual instructions for action they can follow.


The adoption of the Flexible Land Tenure Act in 2012 created the basic legal framework for the introduction of alternative land tenure options. Since then, a corresponding implementing regulation has been developed, an implementation plan agreed, and initial capacity for the registration process generated in the Ministry of Land Reform and pilot municipalities.