Accepted Paper:

Living in uncertainty: urban renewal, land tenure insecurity, land laws and forced evictions in post-conflict Luanda, Angola  


Pétur Waldorff (Nordic Africa Institute/University of Iceland)

Paper Short Abstract:

This paper discusses Angola’s post-conflict urbanization and urban renewal strategy which has resulted in forced evictions and demolition of houses in the Capital, Luanda. This has evoked increased uncertainty and anxiety among the city’s population, all in the name of modernization, development and post-conflict reconstruction.

Paper long abstract:

Living in Uncertainty: Urban Renewal, Land Tenure Insecurity, Land Laws and Forced Evictions in Post-conflict Luanda, Angola

After decades of war and a steady influx of internally displaced people, Luanda, Angola's capital, consists largely of settlements categorized as informal. During the newfound era of peace the Angolan government has decided to "formalize" the informal urban land market through a new Land Law which has made all unregistered land the property of the State. The post-conflict land strategy has had grave consequences for many Angolans who face forced evictions and the demolition of their houses, often with little or no compensation. This has evoked increased uncertainty and anxiety among the Luandan population in the name of urban renewal, post-war reconstruction, modernization and development. This paper offers a glimpse into what was taking place in peri-urban and central Luanda during my ethnographic fieldwork in 2009-2010 around the time the new Land Law took effect. In particular it looks at the effects of Luanda's post-conflict urbanization and urban renewal strategies, forced evictions and relocations. Furthermore, it poses the question for whom this so-called modernization and post-conflict reconstruction really is when people are relocated to the city's periphery, away from schools, clinics, markets, and employment opportunities.

Key Words:

Land Tenure Security, Urban Planning Policies, Post-Conflict Societies, Urban Anthropology, Informal Economy

Panel W078
Urban renewal, uncertainty and exclusion (EN)