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Report Co-Authored by Professor Sid Harring Critiques Land Policy in Namibia

December 5, 2007

A new report by Sidney Harring, Professor at the CUNY Law School, and Willem Odendaal of the Legal Assistance Centre (LAC), a public interest law organization based in the capital of Namibia, says that that government’s agrarian policy has failed to adapt to the demands of a modern Namibia or to benefit African farmers.

The independent report focuses on attempts to find an equitable solution to racist land ownership policies (For instance, of some 6,000 farms, about 5,500 are white-owned, with most of the balance “owned” by banks that hold the mortgages on the farms, newly sold to blacks, according to government officials).

The report reviews the achievements so far of Namibia’s land reform program, called No Resettlement Available, and notes that “most [resettlement farms] are not doing very well; in fact, it is not apparent that any are.”

The size of the farms allocated and the agricultural methods practiced were among the problems identified by the report. “Black farmers get smaller units than white farmers held, but remain stuck with the same plan to be livestock farmers,” said the report.

The United Nations’ Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs has published a news story and analysis of the report here »

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