Taking stock of land reform in Namibia from 1990 to 2005.

11 June 2012

The land reform debate in Namibia has been predicated on a number of questionable assumptions and is atypical of the scenarios presented by other SADC countries. The one point of similarity is that the progress of Namibian land reform has been very slow. The evidence suggests that land reform has served as an expedient rhetorical device which the ruling party resorts to as and when it suits its political agenda. It has also served as a means by which high-ranking officials have enriched themselves at the expense of the peasantry. Namibia’s financial commitment to land reform was negligible when considered alongside some of its ruler’s more grandiose personal projects. This article contends that land reform in Namibia has been a minor issue and was always unlikely to compromise the political stability that has led to Namibia’s robust performance as a tourism mecca.