Home to some six-million people and growing, Luanda confronts unique challenges in managing land assets essential for housing and economic development. The city suffers from land market distortions caused by poor land development and management policies, including the slow provision of infrastructure and services, poor land information systems and cumbersome land transaction procedures.
The study aims to give policy-makers a better understanding of how formal and informal land markets function in Luanda. It questions the assumption that informality is an enemy to development and that in the short to medium term everyone will come to be protected within the modern formal system. Moreover, it questions the assumption that everyone wants to operate in this way because it is 'better'.
Informal land markets serve the overwhelming majority of Luanda's population, not just the poor - many of the middle classes and elites do not have legal titles to the land and housing they occupy. Most of these people have acquired land that they consider to be their own through a variety of informal mechanisms, all commonly perceived to be legitimate.
The study makes the following recommendations to improve how urban land markets function:
- Promote more functional and inclusive land markets
- Integrate existing practice into an inclusive land policy
- Recognise the right of occupation in 'good faith'
- Incorporate the right to information into effective practice
- Introduce regulations for Incremental tenure
- Strengthen institutions, especially at municipal levels
- Improve infrastructure, such as water services and road access
- Build municipal land information systems (cadastres)
- Secure women's land rights
- Facilitate public policy advocacy and civic awareness
- Execute pilot projects in land pooling
- Ensure just compensation is paid in case of land expropriation.