Evolving urban cadastres in Ethiopia : the impacts on urban land governance

B.K. Alemie, R.M. Bennett, J.A. Zevenbergen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

15 Citations (Scopus)


Literature on urban land governance suggests cadastres play an important role in delivering equal land access, adequate tenure security, sustainable land use, accountability of actors, and transparency. Accordingly, land governance is increasingly examined through the domain of cadastres, or more broadly land administration. In Ethiopia, urban cadastres are yet to be studied through this lens. This paper examines the evolution of Ethiopia's urban cadastres in support of urban land governance across three governing regimes: the Imperial, the Military, and the Ethiopian People Republic Democratic Front (EPRDF) regimes. Three data collection techniques are applied: research synthesis is used to understand the nature and role of Ethiopia's urban cadastres during the Imperial and Military regimes, whilst secondary data and primary observational analysis are used to assess the early and contemporary parts of EPRDF regime respectively. The recognized cadastral ‘toolbox’ approach informs the analysis: the comparative role of cadastres in delivering urban land governance across the three study epochs is assessed. The study reveals that during the Imperial and Military regimes, policies and legal frameworks afforded less consideration to important aspects of urban land governance. Meanwhile, results from the early EPRDF regime suggest that whilst urban land governance discourse was popular, the operational role of the urban cadastre in improving urban land governance was limited: the basic requirements needed for the operation of urban cadastres, including political steadiness, policy and legal clarity, technical capacity, sound organizational design and societal support were missing. The contemporary situation shows improvement, however, each ‘toolbox’ element has improvement opportunities
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)695-705
JournalLand use policy
Publication statusPublished - 2015


  • METIS-306569


Dive into the research topics of 'Evolving urban cadastres in Ethiopia : the impacts on urban land governance'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this