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Journal Article

Environment and Urbanization;32.1

Informal Land Investments and Wealth Accumulation in the Context of Regularization: Case studies from Dar es Salaam and Mwanza

Published on 29 January 2020

Between half and three-quarters of new housing development in African cities has been taking place on land acquired through informal channels.

This paper offers insights from a study of self-builders’ investments in informal land and housing in Dar es Salaam and Mwanza, two of the largest and fastest-growing cities in Tanzania. The findings demonstrate that self-builders’ investments in informal land and self-built housing are inextricably linked with household wealth accumulation processes and long-term security. In light of the research findings, the paper offers reflections on the potential impacts of ongoing land formalization processes. The paper argues that the informal housing system has far more advantages than appreciated by proponents of formalization, that the vision of bringing “dead capital” to life is misleading, and that the anticipated emergence of active formal markets for land and housing may not serve the needs or interests of low- and middle-income households.

The research for this paper is part of a project funded by the East Africa Research Hub (EARH) of the UK Department for International Development (DFID), titled “The Urban Land Nexus and Inclusive Urbanization in Dar es Salaam, Khartoum and Mwanza”, led by the Institute of Development Studies at the University of Sussex.

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Andreasen, M.H., McGranahan, G., Kyessi, A. and Kombe, W. (2020) 'Informal Land Investments and Wealth Accumulation in the Context of Regularization: Case studies from Dar es Salaam and Mwanza', Environment and Urbanization 32.1: 89-108

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Authors

Image of Gordon McGranahan

Gordon McGranahan

Research Fellow

Manja Hoppe Andreasen

Alphonce Kyessi

Wilbard Kombe

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Publication details

published by
Sage Journals
doi
10.1177/0956247819896265
language
en_US

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Region
Tanzania

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