Project Brief: Land Tenure and Property Rights in Kenya

Kenya’s land reform, initiated in the 1950s, involved large-scale conversion of customary land tenure systems to private, individualized ownership. However, land privatization failed to increase agricultural productivity or provide the level of tenure security anticipated. Many smallholders lost land to wealthy, influential individuals. Efforts were also made to secure group tenure for pastoralist communities residing on lands in arid and semi-arid areas which comprise approximately 80% of the country. These reforms resulted in serious consequences, particularly for resource governance and wildlife conservation.

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