Ethnicity, Land and Conflict in Eastern Africa : Case Studies from Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania and Uganda

As in other parts of Africa, land remains the basis of a mainly agrarian economy and the focal point of identity contests, especially within and between ethnic groups. Postcolonial land reforms have largely failed to address historic injustices and ensure broad-based access to this vital resource.

This project seeks to offer insights into the ethnic dimension of conflict over land in Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania and Uganda. Kenya has just gone through a violent post-election period, Rwanda has a history of land-related problems and Uganda has just drafted a controversial land law. Although Tanzania does not have a history of violent conflict over land, the potential is there. Researchers will investigate the causal links between ethnicity, land and conflict, and draw out lessons that will lead to a durable policy solution to land-based conflict in the four countries. The project will feature rigorous field research and will generate regular policy reports and briefs, plus a final book-length report.

Project ID


Project status


Start Date

Thursday, July 17, 2008

End Date

Tuesday, July 17, 2012


24 months

IDRC Officer

Karuru, Njeri

Total funding

CA$ 498,700


North of Sahara, South of Sahara, Kenya, Rwanda, Uganda, Tanzania


Governance and Justice

Project Leader

Patrick Mutahi

Project Leader

Dr. Peter Kagwanja


Africa Policy and Leadership Institute (an association incorporated under section 21)

Institution Country


Institution Website