Reforming the Traditional Land Tenure System: A Proposal

A major institutional change that would help to unleash the vast economic growth potential of Sierra Leone in tourism, agriculture and industry is the reform of the customary land tenure system. Such a reform would need to address issues relating to customary law itself, as well as the question of ‘statutory strangers’ introduced in the 1927 Protectorate Land Ordinance. In this working paper, IGC Sierra Leone Country Director, Omotunde Johnson looks beyond the romantic idealisation of communal ownership that has plagued discussions of reforms of customary land tenure in Africa and explores reforms that would produce more efficient governance arrangements for communal land.

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