Credit: Steve Evans.
The Ethiopian government holds significant control over the allocation and use of land. Indeed, the Constitution of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia vests ownership of land and natural resources in the State, and these resources are not subject to sale. At the same time, the Constitution guarantees small-scale farmers access to land without charge.
To implement this guarantee and to support small-scale agricultural production, the government began a process of land certification in 1998. This initiated sweeping change, and, today, two-thirds of smallholder households have certified rights to use their land. In 2003, the government launched joint titling of land to men and women in a household in order to strengthen women's land rights.